General Assembly Votes to Ensure Judicial IntegrityMay. 15, 2012
Tuesday morning with the clock approaching 2:00, the House of Delegates voted to not appoint to a judgeship Tracy Thorne-Begland (see roll call vote). After spending more than twelve hours debating and voting on budget amendments and discussing issues in their respective caucuses, retired military members of the House led the charge during debate over Mr. Thorne-Begland, expressing serious concerns over his actions while a member of the U.S. Military. As we posted late last week, Mr. Thorne-Begland has a long history of political activism and received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy after going on national television to announce that he had violated federal law, the so-called "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy enthusiastically signed into law by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in the early 1990s. More recently, he has made public statements that reveal a personal political agenda that runs contrary to the Virginia Constitution and statute. Many of these concerns did not come to light until after he had been deemed qualified to be a judge by the General Assembly's Courts of Justice Committees.
Today, Virginia Democrats and Equality Virginia lashed out at General Assembly members and The Family Foundation for last night’s votes. Unable to answer the concerns about Mr. Thorne-Begland’s statements, they have predictably resorted to name-calling. Democrat Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran said:
It is difficult to consider last night's vote without using the word "bigoted," just as it's difficult to consider this period of unified Republican government without using the word "disaster.”
Senator Donald McEachin (D-8, Richmond), who put forth Mr. Thorne-Begland's name to be a judge in the first place, said:
The GOP took Virginia back to the bigotry and mean-spirited prejudice of the 1960s.
Delegate Mark D. Sickles, (D-43, Fairfax) said in a statement:
And, it shows that legislators are more concerned about the Family Foundation scorecard than Richmond's District Court.
Equality Virginia also took aim at The Family Foundation, saying:
(The legislature) allowed fear mongering and shrill personal attacks by the Family Foundation … to derail Richmond lawyer Tracy Thorne-Begland’s election to the bench simply because he is an out gay man.
Of course, our position since this was first brought to our attention last week has been concern about public statements and political activity, and a violation of the military oath, that demonstrate a willingness to put a personal political agenda above all else. That was our concern. On Friday, Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) also announced public concerns over the nomination and spoke in opposition to it during last night's debate.
Former military members of the House of Delegates, led by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Woodbridge), Rich Anderson (R-51, Woodbridge) and Mark Dudenhefer (R-2, Stafford), spoke passionately during the House floor debate about their concern over Thorne-Begland’s violation of his military oath. Each made the case that the real issues here concerned integrity, truth, duty and an oath of office. The integrity of the courts was at stake with this vote, they argued.
Several legislators worked for several days to bring to light the concerns over this nomination. We thank each of those legislators who worked both behind the scenes and took strong public stands in the face of vile attacks by liberals.
As has been the case almost since the day after conservatives won majorities in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate in November, Virginia liberals have been on the rhetorical attack. Regardless of the issue, they resort to mean-spirited name-calling, misinformation and bullying. They redefine issues and assert false motivations to their opponents. After losing election after election, you would think Virginia's Left would finally figure out that they are on the wrong side of these issues, but with the help of some in the Mainstream Media and the editorial pages, they continue to attack pro-family legislators simply for standing up for the truth. Their hope is, of course, that Virginians will be bullied into silence on these important issues.
The General Assembly is tasked with reviewing and certifying judges. If that is little more than a rubber stamp, it means nothing. It has a duty to block judges deemed unqualified or unfit for the bench. Last night, legislators simply did their job.
Social ExtremistsAug. 10, 2009
Well, that didn't take long. Just a few days after yet another poll shows him lagging behind Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, Democrat Creigh Deeds went on the offensive on social issue (Washington Post) this weekend in an effort to motivate wake up reassure his base (so much for social issues being a distraction from the "important" issues like the economy and jobs).
Anyway, the label tossing has begun, with each side using the word "extreme" almost as much as Obama uses the word Czar (well, maybe not that much). It is always useful, though not very common, to do a little compare/contrast when talking about "extreme" positions on issues like abortion. So, as the Post article touts Deeds' opposition to the ban on partial birth abortion and parental consent laws, let's reflect way back to 2003 when those bills passed the General Assembly in overwhelming numbers (enough to override then-Gov. Mark Warner's killer amendments). It is interesting to see what other abortion "extremists" joined then-Delegate Bob McDonnell (and 105 other members of the GA on Partial Birth and 99 other members of the GA on parental consent) in support of these "extreme" measures:
Senator Russ Potts (R) (D) (I) Senator John Chichester (R) (D) (?) Senator Chuck Colgan (D) (now chair of Senate Finance Committee) Senator Edd Houck (D) (now chair of Senate Ed and Health Committee) Senator Phil Puckett (D) Delegate Ward Armstrong (House Democrat minority leader)
Oh, and the partial birth ban was supported by none other than former Democrat candidate for governor Brian Moran. That's just to name a few.
Now there's a line up of right wing extremists if I've ever seen one.
Virginia News Stand: May 27, 2009May. 26, 2009
Lots of campaign news today, as one might expect, as Brian Moran racks up more endorsements, and Virginia Republicans gear up for their nominating convention this weekend. But most of the big stuff concerns yesterday's California Supreme Court decision upholding that state's recently ratified constitutional amendment defining marriage as a between one man and one woman, and President Barack Obama's selection of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are several good articles and commentaries on these subjects in the National News and Commentary sections below. Also, please read Bobby Eberle's rejoinder to retired General Colin Powell regarding his campaign to minimize conservatism in the Republican Party. Finally, be sure to read about a bill one congressman has introduced that would make 2010 "The Year of the Bible" — and his co-sponsors include members of both parties, as well as Christian and Jewish members.
Virginians critique nominee (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Moran picking up local support (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
Democrats' Inside Man Steps Into Spotlight (Washington Post)
GOP hopefuls for Fralin's House seat hold forum (Roanoke Times)
McDonnell backs Mullins for chairman of state GOP (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
GOP will choose slate of state candidates this weekend (Winchester Star)
LU Democrats club to meet with Falwell today (Lynchburg News & Advance)
Calif. Ruling Shows Hurdles Remain for Gay Marriage (Washington Post)
Don't expect smooth sailing for Sotomayor (OneNewsNow.com)
For Sotomayor, discrimination case likely issue (AP/GOPUSA.com)
2010: The year of the Bible? (OneNewsNow.com)
'Empathy' in Action (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)
Sotomayor: Racial Politics and Making Policy (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)
To Gen. Powell . . . Just Where Have We Gone Too Far To The Right? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)
Moran, McAuliffe Explode At Each Other Via New TV Ads TodayMay. 20, 2009
Two of the three Democrat candidates for governor, Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe, couldn't hold back, and weeks of bitterness have exploded on to television screens and the Internet. (Okay, the Moran ad only had 10 YouTube views as of a few minutes ago, so it has typically received more attention from the media than from grassroots. See Richmond Times-Dispatch, here.) But Moran came out swinging at the perceived frontrunner, McAuliffe, first on radio yesterday, and now, today, in his first television ad. Nothing like making your first shot count. Moran, who bills himself as a fighter (though it's his Congressman brother, Jim, who's actually slugged folks) didn't wait on custom, which is to make one's first ad a glossy, warm and fuzzy, biographical or issues ad. Nothing subtle about this, hitting T-Mac for his belly-up businesses.
Not to be outdone, McAuliffe fired back with an ad reminiscent of his old boss, Bill Clinton, who, when in the midst of a crippling scandal, blubberbusted something about attacks having never fed one person or paid a college tuition. McAuliffe's version says attacks don't create jobs. Sure they do — for the hack consultants who produce the ads!
Enjoy the fight!
How The Statewides Did On General Assembly The Report CardMay. 16, 2009
Speaking of TFF Action's 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card (click here to see and/or print) — as we were Wednesday (see news release and statement and video) — there are three candidates for statewide office running for their respective party's nominations who currently sit in the General Assembly, and therefore merited scores on the TFF Action Report Card. They are: Democrat Creigh Deeds (governor), Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Steve Shannon (both for attorney general). Former Delegate Brian Moran, a Democrat running for governor, served only one of the two years the Report Card covers, so he is not included in it. (Note: These links are to the candidates' campaign sites. Those below are to their General Assembly sites.)
Report Card scores are on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the best possible rating.
UPDATE TFF Action has had some inquiries concerning what another Democrat candidate for governor, former Delegate Brian Moran's, Report Card vote would have been if he had not "retired" prior to this year's session.
Based on his votes from the 2008 session, Delegate Moran would have scored an 80. He voted "pro-family" on 4 of 5 bills (right vote: student religious liberty, payday lending limits, HPV vaccine delay, and increase fuel tax; wrong vote: coerced abortion).
Perhaps that's why his collegues in the GA would yell out "statewide Moran" when he cast his vote in favor of legislation that the majority of his Democrat friends voted against.
Virginia News Stand: April 23, 2009Apr. 23, 2009
Sorry for the late arriving delivery of the News Stand. But there's lots to ponder today. The gubernatorial campaign is red hot now, make no mistake: Dems going after GOP nominee-to-be Bob McDonnell, House Republicans and each other; national figures weighing in; and, it wouldn't be a Terry McAuliffe moment if some financial investigation into an associate isn't involved — and it's not the Clintons, either, even though Bill announced he'd come campaign for him. That only prompted a reply from former Delegate Brian Moran. (He's had contributions questioned, as well, as many come from people with business in front of his brother, U.S. Representative Jim Moran). It's nothing but back and forth and side to side right now. Imagine what it will be like October. But, you know . . . hmmmmmm. Something . . . some one seems missing. Just can't think of who that might be.
In other campaign news, the House's longest serving member, and one of only two independents in the entire General Assembly, Lacey Putney of Bedford, says he wants another two years. Doubtless, he'll get them.
Aside from all that, there's some serious news today. A federal court judge is imposing his will on the FDA and requiring the morning after pill to be made available to 17-year-olds. Amazing! So, we have another first (see Tuesday) at the News Stand: We're leading off with a video, because our very own Victoria Cobb is featured in it. She was interviewed by the Richmond CBS affiliate about the court decision. (See, hear and read all video and audio interviews, and blog references to us at our Online News Room.)
There's a lot of links below, but several are of the brief variety from the very informative Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog. We hope you enjoy it all.
*Morning After Pill Debate (WTVR-TV/CBS6, Richmond)
In the Governor's Race, Chasing the Political Punching Bag (Washington Post)
Campaign Contributions: Virginia Democrats clash over cash (The Daily Press)
Fact Checker: Democrats at Candidates' Forum (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
Moran releases his schools plan (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
McDonnell Begins Online Ad Campaign (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
McAuliffe's Top Donor Touched by AIPAC Investigation (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
Virginia Partisans Back Moran (Washington Post Virginia Politcs Blog)
Bill Clinton to campaign for McAuliffe (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Moran Responds to Clinton Visit (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
National GOP Getting Involved in AG's Race (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
Republicans Fight Back on Unemployment Dollars (Washington Post Virginia Politcs Blog)
Va.'s longest-serving delegate to seek another term (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Va. Democratic party leads in cash (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Major Payday lender is leaving Virginia (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
17-Year-Olds to Gain Access to Plan B Pill (Washington Post)
Virginia News Stand: April 21, 2009Apr. 21, 2009
What's great about the Internet is even when it's a slow news day, you can always find something. We even have two News Stand firsts: A double feature video section and we cite ourselves. Today's state news is thin in number but meaty in content. On a subject we will comment on soon enough, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell takes a public stand on his Alma Mater conferring an honorary doctorate to the nation's most ardent pro-abortion on demand president, ever. As it turns out, his most pro-abortion-ever HHS secretary nominee was confirmed today in the midst of still more alleged impropriety. Meanwhile, Brian Moran's Democrat primary campaign got a boost from homosexual activists, Creigh Deeds' relationship with defense firms is reviewed, the Dems lose a N.Va. House challenger, and home-schooled college students make a film about Roe v. Wade.
If that's not enough, when things even look slow, we can rely on OneNewsNow for a supply of national news the MSM gladly overlooks. For example, we have a must-see video of Planned Parenthood getting busted — again! — hiding a potential statutory rape, so as to procure an abortion "client." This is the fifth time a PP abortion center has been caught on tape doing this. Read about it and see it for yourself. It's all below.
McDonnell opposes Notre Dame degree for Obama (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Gay and lesbian Democratic group backs Moran's bid for governor(Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Deeds Solicited Defense Firms (Washington Post)
Democrat Drops Out of Delegate Race (Washington Post)
Homeschoolers release 'Roe v. Wade' movie (OneNewsNow.com)
Sebelius has 'integrity issue' (OneNewsNow.com)
'Poor science' undergirds new stem cell regs (OneNewsNow.com)
Memphis abortion center exposed for hiding statutory rape (OneNewsNow.com)
Latest Planned Parenthood Cover-Up (OneNewsNowBlog.com/YouTube.com)
On Same-Sex Marriage: Deeds Flip-Flops, Moran Just Flops, And T-Mac Sounds Vaguely Sensible (Familyfoundationblog.com/YouTube)
Just Suppose, Hypothetically Asking, Of Course . . .Apr. 21, 2009
If Terry McAuliffe wins the Democrat gubernatorial nomination by downplaying the far left's radical social agenda, will the MainStream Media and pundit class start preaching that Democrat candidates need to "worry about practical problems" and "every day concerns of Virginians" and not "ideological litmus tests"? Of course, the case can be made that liberal candidates do that now — true believers to the radical cause, they shluff it off until after they get elected (see Governor Kaine's efforts against the Marriage Amendment despite his campaign pledge of supporting one-man-one-woman marriage).
So perhaps the relevant, hypothetical, question is: If Brian Moran wins the nomination but loses the general election, will the MSM, pundits and fellow apologists start to clamor for liberal candidates who will eschew the social engineering doctrines? These situations may never materialize, so we may never know. But it's all worth pondering.
Wow! Moran's Militant Stand Wins Endorsement!Apr. 20, 2009
Not but a few minutes after we posted the last thread, the Richmond Times-Dispatch puts out this report: Apparently, so impressed with former Delegate Brian Moran's answer to the same-sex marriage question at Saturday's Democrat gubernatorial debate, that an organization called Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club endorsed him. Said the group's president, Charley Conrad:
"Throughout his career, he's fought alongside us — not just in his voting record, but also in the leadership positions he has taken in support of equality. And even now, during this campaign, he continues to push pro-equality positions, despite any potential political risk. The LGBT community is standing firmly with Brian because he has always stood up for us."
For those who don't know, LGBT is short for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender. Some homosexual lobby groups include transvestites in their coalition.
At the debate, Moran said:
"Equality is a fundamental value that makes us Democrats. Virginians know where I will stand on this issue because they know where I have stood. Leadership isn't easy."
Translation: According to Moran, if you believe in equal rights — as opposed to special rights — you can't be a Democrat.
Virginia News Stand: April 2, 2009Apr. 02, 2009
The News Stand doesn't have a large inventory today, but what we have is interesting as usual. The gubernatorial campaign is rolling along with Bob McDonnell and Terry McAuliffe continuing to get the headlines. Where are Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran? It's enough to prompt House Republican Whip Eric Cantor to call it for T-Mac already. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sounds the warning on President Obama's war on churches and charities, squeezing them out in favor of a care-for-all, omnipresent government. Speaking of McDonnell, he's promised to run the most technologically savvy campaign in Virginia history. It's a hard lesson Republicans have learned from Democrats who have outpaced them by far in use of the Internet via social networking and the like. But according to Rachel Alexander, there is a conservative tech revolution going on.
Speaking of revolutions, do they have tea or corn parties in Iowa? For all those gearing up for the various Virginia tea parties on April 15, you might want to read and view what went on in Iowa's legislature recently, where the Democrat House Speaker, Pat Murphy, tossed out taxpayers opposed to his tax increase plan. Ah, yes. Freedom of speech in the Age of Obama!
McDonnell pledges support for business during campaign stop (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
McDonnell's gubernatorial campaign makes local stop (Winchester Star)
McAuliffe's Fundraising: High-Dollar, High-Mileage (Washington Post)
Does Cantor Really Think McAuliffe Wins? (TertiumQuids.com)
Web 2.0 and the New Conservative Revolution (GOPUSA.com)
Obama's 'war against churches and charities' (OneNewsNow.com)
When the American Tax Payer Becomes a Nuissance (GetLiberty.org)
Taxpayers Kicked Out Of Capitol During Tax Debate — Iowa (YouTube.com/KCCI-TV)
John Cook's Win Shows Anything's Possible . . . For Either PartyMar. 16, 2009
(Admin's note: This was posted under a different heading on March 12, but because of a technical glitch, we lost it. It is re-posted here in an edited form, but with basically the same content. Sorry for any confusion.) Early returns often are misleading, not to mention election results themselves so soon after a major campaign. However, there are some signs GOP candidates maybe running effective campaigns in Northern Virginia and elsewhere.
First, there was the skin-of-the-teeth, 16-vote-win by Democrat Charniele Herring over Republican Joe Murray to win the lock-stock Democrat 46th House of Delegates district seat in a January special election necessitated when Brian Moran resigned to run for governor full time. Not long after that, Democrat Sharon Bulova barely defeated Republican Patrick Herrity in a special election for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman.
Moral victories for Republicans, maybe, but then came an actual win: Last week, Republican John Cook squeaked by Democrat Ilryong Moon in the Braddock district supervisor seat vacated by Bulova (see Washington Post here). It's a district that went 57 percent for Barack Obama. His win changes the Fairfax County Board from an 8-2 Democrat majority to a 7-3 majority. Cook's win shows Northern Virginia may still be competitive and just as Republicans may have taken central Virginia and Hampton Roads for granted in recent years, allowing Democrat candidates to gain significant vote totals there, perhaps Democrats have taken its base lightly as well.
Republican statewide candidates don't need to win Northern Virginia to win elections, but they must be competitive and not get blown out, as were George Allen and Jerry Kilgore. Holding Dem victories to small margins upstate will be the test of the GOP ticket this fall; restoring large margins the test for the Dems.
Nationally, the moribund House Republican Campaign Committee may finally win a special election of its own. One indicator that it was in trouble leading up to the 2006 and 2008 campaigns were its losses in special elections in districts that had been Republican for years, including the one held by former Speaker Dennis Hastert as well as one in Mississippi.
Now comes word the GOP may be favored to pick up the New York House seat vacated by former Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. According to The Post's The Fix blog (click here), while the Democrats' House campaign kitty is more than $16 million in the red, the GOP has some money to spend. It's a district that typically votes Republican in presidential elections, but Gillibrand proved to be an effective campaigner. Pundits say victory here could create momentum for yet more fundraising, which could be directed here in Virginia, a win considered especially crucial if the national GOP has intentions of a full rebound.
Virginia News Stand: March 11, 2009Mar. 10, 2009
Today I scooped the Communications Department by finding some articles of interest that must've scooted by him. They are included here as well as in the next few posts. All very interesting and full of intrigue — and controversy. Controversy is everywhere right now! Not only is the Jeff Frederick controversy continuing to brew, seems Democrat gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran has lost a prominent endorsement. Or did he ever have it? See? Intraparty strife isn't limited to the GOP. Then there's the article from a national news organization, linked at the end, that picked up on the state police chaplain prayer — all together now — controversy.
GOP candidates for attorney general each claim the lead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Moran Loses an Endorsement (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
More join call to oust Va. GOP chairman (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Senators join bid to oust GOP chairman (Washington Times)
Senate GOP Wants Jeff Frederick Removed (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)
GOP delegates endorse McGuire's House bid (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
York teacher announces candidacy (The Daily Press)
Road fixes top Va.'s suggestions wish list for stimulus (Norfolk Virginian Pilot)
Senate kills GOP's D.C. vouchers bid (Washington Times)
The Genesis of a Debate (Washington Post)
'Jesus' banned -- so chaplain resigned (OneNewsNow)
Virginia News Stand: December 17, 2008Dec. 17, 2008
As one might expect, the state budget dominates state news today and will, most likely, from now and throughout the General Assembly's short session, which commences January 14. We have it covered below, with a few political articles of interest thrown in, as well as an eye-popping commentary by Brian Kirwin from Bearing Drift. And, could there be an upset in the special election for Brian Moran's recently resigned House seat in heavily liberal Alexandria? A Washington Post reporter says it's possible. News:
Kaine would double cigarette tax (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Kaine expected to push for hike in cigarette tax (The Daily Press)
Kaine proposes cuts, cigarette tax increase (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
Gov. Kaine to propose big cuts, doubling of cigarette tax (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Kaine's budget plan is divulged (Roanoke Times)
Md., Va. Eye Even Deeper Cutbacks (Washington Post)
Richmonder eyes lieutenant governor race (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Lawmakers, Business Leaders Sound Alarm (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)
Legislators foresee tough fiscal future (Winchester Star)
Norfolk delegate to lead caucus (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Bearing Drift on Patrick Muldoon's LG campaign (Bearing Drift)
Tim Craig Sees Potential Upset In 46th Dist. Race (Virginia Virtucon)