real estate

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)

When Not Making History Is Good (Or, Watch The Libs Stumble All Over Themselves)

Earlier this evening, in House Room 2 in Mr. Jefferson's historic capitol, a House sub-committee defeated HB 1625, a major homosexual rights agenda item. The bill would have created sexual orientation as a protected class in housing discrimination laws by allowing local jurisdictions to carve out their own housing policies irrespective of the Commonwealth's current code. The House General Laws Sub-Committee on Housing, by a 4-3 vote, tabled the bill by Delegate David Englin (D-45, Alexandria), as amended. When he introduced the it before the committee Delegate Englin admitted previous incarnations of the bill were geared to sexual orientation. But he said his new bill was broader and protected no particular class of people.

Ironically, the broader aspects of the bill cost him votes from the liberal members of the sub-committee. Delegate Bob Hull (D-38, Falls Church) immediately brought up the difficulties and complexities this would present to the real estate industry in metropolitan areas composed of several jurisdictions. During the week, The Family Foundation lobbied members of the sub-committee on roughly the same lines, as well as the protected class argument. But the real unintended consequences — not imagined ones as our opponents conjure up — came when the representatives of the home building, apartment and real estate trade associations testified against the bill, citing the fact that it would create an unintended protected income class. In other words, homebuilders would have to accept HUD Section 8 housing vouchers and the like, and succumb to a host of prohibitive federal regulations.

Realizing that even his own caucus mates were deserting him, Delegate Englin said he would consider it "a friendly amendment to narrow the bill to sexual orientation," at which point the liberals on the committee, who opposed the bill on commonsense economic and governance grounds, stumbled excitedly all over themselves to make the motion. Delegate Hull beat them to the punch, and Delegates David Bulova (D-37, Fairfax) and Rosalyn Dance (D-63, Petersburg) quickly shouted a seconding motion. Speaking to the proposed amendment, Delegate John Cosgrove (R-78, Chesapeake) said, if approved, it would be the first time in Virginia history that sexual orientation would be made a protected class and therefore he could not support the bill. He motioned to table the bill and it was seconded, and the vote carried on a 4-3 party line voice vote. Joining Delegate Cosgrove were Delegates Bill Carrico (R-5, Independence), Bill Fralin (R-17, Roanoke) and sub-committee chairman, Glenn Oder (R-94, Newport News). 

So many committee meetings take place in the drab General Assembly building, so when one is in the ambiance of 200-plus years of history, where so much that has affected our nation has taken place, one wonders what type of modern history may be made. Tonight, as Delegate Cosgrove pointed out, we are happy the wrong type of history was not made.

About Credibility (Or Lack Thereof)

I love scouring the newspaper. I never know when something completely off the wall will be reported to make my day or at least provide some fun topic of conversation. Other times I'll find an article that on the surface seems non-germane to anything I'm concerned about, but, in fact, proves to be Exhibit A in proving a point. Such was the case this morning in the venerable Richmond Times-Dispatch. Its business section reported a feature article on a new trend of people contracting to buy houses together for various reasons: Older, widowed women who don't want to rent, or recent college grads who want to invest in home ownership but can't get a mortgage on their own. (According to the article, Time dubbed young co-owners "communal homeowners" or "co-hos.")

Right, right . . . I know this isn't a real estate blog . . . getting to the point. Let's go back to 2006 and the Marriage Amendment campaign. What was the biggest — of the endless —scare tactics used by the homosexual lobby and liberal politicians, and brainlessly repeated by the lofties at numerous editorial pages and Mainstream Media types?  

Unintended consequences. That's right. If the marriage amendment passed all sorts of evil unimagined things would happen: unrelated people would not be able to enter into contracts, go into business, or buy real estate together, to name but a few of the here-to-Alaska list.

The article (read it here) is about two Richmond-area women who have been best friends for 30 years. One is a widow, one is divorced and both are empty-nesters for the most part. They rented homes but spent so much time on the phone talking to each other, it made great sense to buy a house together. More than that, according to the article:

Grady and McAbee consulted an attorney and had a contract prepared that addresses such issues as what happens when one of them dies — each has a lifetime right to the house as long as they can afford it — and who inherits the proceeds from the eventual sale of the property.

So much for not being able to enter into contracts with non-spouses. They got a lawyer and everything! They got all legaled up with inheritance rights and all of that stuff even though the best and brightest lefties said it couldn't happen. Hysteria, indeed. But let's see the left prove their point. Let them file suit to make people who've bought houses together dissolve their contracts and sell off their assets. (Here's another story we reported on in June which also proves our point.)

If this isn't an example of the misdirection and untruth that constantly comes from the hysterical left, we don't know what it is. In fact, it should serve as a warning to any fair minded person to take with an entire Morton's Salt container anything that comes from their mouths.

We're waiting for the homosexual lobby and their liberal politician allies to apologize for spending millions of dollars misrepresenting the truth to Virginians — and even their donors — who expect much better. We also wait for the dozens of know-it-all editorial page editors and Mainstream Media types to admit they were wrong. Of course, all the above mentioned could prove us wrong. Let them file a law suit against those who have bought homes together.

Right. Sure they will. There is an important lesson here, for all great issues that affect us: Policy discourse is about who you can believe. It's about the truth. It's about who has credibility — and who has a lack of it.