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Virginia House Republicans Demonstrate Why They Need to be Voted Out of Office ASAP!

by: lowkell

Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 13:20:34 PM EST

Just quick post to highlight two new items today which demonstrate as clearly as can be why Virginia House Republicans are a disgrace to our state. More to the point, they point out the urgent need to vote these cretins out of office at the first possible opportunity (e.g., this coming November).

1. Virginia House panel rejects Governor McDonnell's felons' rights bill: This is supported by Democrats, of course, but also by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, and even Ken Kookinelli. In other words, this should be a totally non-partisan issue - once you've "done your time" and "paid your debt to society," your voting rights should be automatically restored, as in almost every state in America. The fact that Virginia House Republicans care so little about basic, fundamental civil liberties - and also civil rights, as the disenfranchisement is a relic of the Jim Crow era that disproportionately impacts African Americans - really says it all about today's Republican Party. As Ben Tribbett wrote on his Facebook page:

I guess it is appropriate that on the 50th anniversary of George Wallace standing at the Alabama State Capitol to give his "segregation now segregation tomorrow segregation forever" speech, that Jackson Hunter Miller and Tim Hugo convened a committee in the House of Delegates to kill every bill regarding restoration of civil rights. Still a lot of work to do folks- and it won't all be talking nicely to legislators- some of them need to be defeated.
Well true! Also see DPVA chair Charniele Herring's statement, Sen. Mark Warner's statement, Gov. Bob McDonnell's statement, and Sen. Mark Herring's statement.

2. Equality Virginia reports that Del. Scott Surovell's bill, HJ665, to repeal the 2006 marriage amendment, was "killed in committee today." That's yet another black eye for Virginia, contradicting our advertising slogan about being "for lovers." Well, sorry, but Virginia House Republicans are most definitely NOT for their non-preferred types of "lovers," nor are they for fundamental human rights and American values like liberty, equal treatment under the law, and the right to pursue happiness. As Del. Rob Krupicka says on his Facebook page, "This is an economic issue. A freedom issue. A human rights issue." Exactly, and we need to remove this stain on our constitution as soon as possible, by first and foremost booting out these homophobic bigots (Republicans, of course) from the Virginia House of Delegates!

lowkell :: Virginia House Republicans Demonstrate Why They Need to be Voted Out of Office ASAP!
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I too am very disappointed (4.00 / 1)
I was at the hearing today.  The outcome was not surprising but I think the bills at least deserve an up or down vote.    The subcommittee members voted to "PBI" the bills, which stands for Pass By Indefinitely - a polite way of killing a bill without saying that is what you are doing.

After Chairman Jackson Miller expressed his concern that we shouldn't be making the distinction between violent and nonviolent felonies (because they are so inaccurately defined), another member made a motion to have a separate vote on Del. Morrissey's bill which would apply to all ex-felons.  According to Miller, Morrissey's bill was his favorite one of the restoration amendments.  But then Miller and the others voted to PBI both measures - proving that they don't actually care about the distinction.

Additionally, Miller was concerned that the bills didn't restore gun rights.  But if they did, would he support them? That doesn't matter because restoring gun rights to ex-felons would be a poison pill, guaranteeing that the bills would never pass.

Even the offices of Gov. McDonnell and AG Cuccinnelli couldn't convince this subcommittee to support Republican-sponsored legislation.  Yes, it is time for a shake-up.  If you don't care about voting rights, then those who retain that right shouldn't care to vote for you.

One Possibility (0.00 / 0)
McDonnell could, if he had the intestinal fortitude, bypass the legislature by stating that every non-violent felon, upon release from prison should petition the governor's office for restoration of civil rights upon completion of parole. He could make the whole process pro forma, not requiring the rigamarole now in place. The restoration would be, more or less, automatic upon release from parole.  


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