Keep in mind that Barbara Comstock, who is likely to be nominated tomorrow by Virginia 10th CD Republicans, is closely linked with Tom DeLay, having served as a paid member of his legal team after he . Comstock's defense of the corrupt DeLay was so ridiculous that even Bill O'Reilly chided her for exaggerating the facts, saying, "come on Barbara, you're doing it...I know you're getting paid by these people, but you're doing a two-step here." Of course, that's Comstock to a "t" - can't believe a word she says, such as her ever-changing explanation for why she voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Virginia Democratic primary, or her doubletalk and outright lying about slimeball and far-right wingnut Tom DeLay.
P.S. It's also completely unsurprising that Comstock would be tight with yet another rabid defender of Cliven Bundy, given that she's been endorsed by Bundy's #1 cheerleader, Sean Hannity...
So, let's get this straight: Cliven Bundy is a "conservative" hero (e.g., to the likes of Sean Hannity, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, etc.) when he's "only" a right-wing extremist - essentially a domestic terrorist along the same lines as Timothy McVeigh - who refuses to obey the law, doesn't believe he needs to obey federal law, freeloads by grazing his cattle on public land without paying for it, surrounds himself with violent/armed thugs, etc. But while "conservatives" (in quotes because there's nothing conservative about these people, really) continue to love all that crazy, anarchist, violent, extremist, anti-government stuff, they know that politically, if they keep supporting Bundy now that he's exposed himself as a vicious racist, their desperate, disingenuous attempts to avoid getting a lower and lower share of the non-white vote in this country will suffer a disastrous setback.
So, yes, expect most "conservatives" to run as fast as they can from good ol' boy Cliven, based on their own perceived political self interest if nothing else. Except perhaps for unhinged demagogues like Sean Hannity, whose Faux "News" venom-fest panders to exactly the types of people who can't get enough of Cliven and his ilk. If Hannity doesn't back off of Bundy after the racist remarks, will that make HIM toxic as well? Will the Republicans he's endorsed, such as 10th CD Congressional Republican - and likely nominee - Barbara Comstock - stick with Hannity or what? We'll be watching. Closely.
UPDATE: Even crazy Sean Hannity has backed off of Cliven Bundy. Not because he's an anti-government extremist, bordering on a domestic terrorist, but because he's also a raging racist.
As Decision Virginia writes, Ed Gillespie "never gave us a Yes or No" on the ruinous Ryan budget and he "is trying to walk a fine line" on immigration. Nor did Gillespie really answer the question about his background as an inside-the-Beltway lobbyist and Republican Party operative. One thing's for sure, Gillespie "is hoping Tea Party folks will support his campaign in big numbers." And that really says it all: Gillespie is pandering to the most extreme elements of his party, while refusing to provide clear answers on the most important issues of the day. Lame.
I'm glad to see that Gov. McAuliffe's vetoes were upheld today in the Virginia General Assembly, in particular SB 236 ("codifies right to religious viewpoint expression") and SB 555 ("Prohibits censorship by state government officials or agencies of the religious content of sermons made by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard") by right-wing extremist, Sen. Dick Black. As the Virginia ACLU wrote about SB 555, "a military chaplain acting in his or her official role does not have the right to use official mandatory events as a platform to disseminate his or her own religious view." And with regard to SB 236, the Virginia ACLU explained: the bill "would have compelled schools to sponsor student prayer at official school events where students and other members of the school community are a captive audience, such as graduations, assemblies, and sporting events. This bill, while touted as bill to protect religious freedom, would have had the opposite effect, by subjecting students to religious coercion." Both were blatant violations of the separation of church and state, and richly deserved to have their vetoes sustained.
Governor McAuliffe Statement at the Conclusion of Reconvened Session
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today following the General Assembly's 2014 reconvened session, in which they considered his vetoes and amendments to legislation passed this year:
"Today the General Assembly moved the legislative session forward by acting on the vetoes and amendments that I made to the bills they passed earlier this year. I was glad to see the Senate of Virginia uphold each of my 4 vetoes, and the entire General Assembly accept a majority of the amendments that I submitted to legislation.
"I am disappointed that my amendments on bills with a fiscal impact were rejected. Without a budget, I felt it was the fiscally responsible course of action to take. Due to the General Assembly's failure to pass a budget, each of these bills represents an unfunded commitment of taxpayer dollars. Over the next thirty days, I will carefully evaluate each of these bills, particularly if the legislative budget stalemate persists.
"I want to thank the legislators for returning and honoring their commitment to Virginians by acting on the vetoes and amendments I proposed. I hope that they will continue to fulfill their responsibility to Virginia families by passing a state budget that closes the healthcare coverage gap as soon as possible."
This coming Monday evening, the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) will be meeting to proceed with the much-discussed removal of County Board member Libby Garvey as a voting member of ACDC. The reason for this action (which I'd guess, based on what I've heard, will be near unanimous), as ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky explained recently, is that Garvey has taken "public actions" that are "obviously incompatible with the duty of formal voting members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee." In addition, Garvey's actions in endorsing and campaigning for Republican John Vihstadt are obviously incompatible with the Democratic Party of Virginia's party plan, which clearly states:
No Democratic committee member or officer of any Democratic committee shall publicly support, endorse, or assist any candidate opposed to a Democratic nominee. If a Democratic committee member is accused of undertaking such public activity, the appropriate Democratic committee shall vote on whether the member has undertaken such public activity. The member's removal from the committee shall be automatic if the committee finds that the member has engaged in such public activity. Such action shall not be taken without at least ten (10) days written notice to the accused member and an opportunity for him or her to refute such charges.
So that's where we are now, as Libby Garvey, despite being a Democratic committee member (in ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky's words): a) "actively campaigned for and significantly supported a candidate in the April 8th election, who is not a Democrat and who will be opposing our Democratic nominee;" b) "sent mass communications endorsing the non-Democratic candidate, and specifically stated in at least one of those communications that you will not support the Democratic nominee;" and c) "donated $1,000 to the non-Democratic candidate" (via her campaign committee).
In response to Malinosky, Garvey claimed that there would be "consequences for ACDC and [the] Democratic 'brand' in Arlington" if they proceeded to expel her, that "the good of the people we are elected to serve" (presumably she believes that opposing the streetcar project, which would be a HUGE net positive for Arlington County, somehow is for "the good of the people" of Arlington) takes precedence over "the good of ACDC," and furthemore that "a closed hearing" is nothing more than a "star chamber" -- "legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings."
Does Libby Garvey have any valid points here? First, I'd reiterate the DPVA party plan's language that "the member's removal from the committee shall be automatic if the committee finds that the member has engaged in such public activity" (e.g., endorsing a Republican against a Democratic nominee). Which is exactly what she did.
Can bat****-crazy extremist E.W. Jackson help push fellow bat****-crazy extremist "Sideshow Bob" Marshall to victory over right-wing Republican "attack dog" Barbara Comstock (who, among other things, is a huge fan of Sarah Palin, inciter-to-violence Sean Hannity, right-wing hate radio host Mark Levin, warmonger John Bolton, overturning Roe v. Wade, etc.) in the 10th CD Republican "firehouse primary" this coming Saturday? It's highly doubtful against the well-funded, establishment-backed Comstock, but it sure would be a lot of fun if Marshall could somehow pull this one out. ;)
I'm certainly no fan of Grover Norquist - because he's an anti-government extremist and a serious menace to our country's future - but what on earth are these crazy Islamophobes and homophobes ranting about? The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated America and Virginia? "Sharia Law" is somehow taking over the country? Seriously, are Virginia's 10th CD Republican candidates all on seriously mind-altering substances or what?!? Needless to say, none of these people should even be considered for higher office - or ANY office, for that matter.
The conservative movement's sowing of anti-Muslim paranoia and discord to help win elections is now coming back to bite it as even top conservative leaders like Norquist, who is married to a Muslim-American, are facing attacks.
At a 2011 right-wing summit, The Awakening, Gaffney was part of an event that immediately followed a panel featuring Norquist, where he delivered a presentation alleging that Norquist is "both enabling and empowering Muslim Brotherhood influence operations against our movement and our country."
On his radio show last month, Gaffney said that Norquist is advancing the "civilization jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood."
But Gaffney is not alone.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) denounced Norquist from the floor of the House for associating with "unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream."
Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, also dedicated an entire program to discussing Norquist's supposed role as "a Muslim Brotherhood facilitator."
Not holding back, anti-Muslim activist David Horowitz attacked Norquist as a "practicing Muslim" who has "infiltrated" the GOP, and Robert Spencer said last year that Norquist's presence at CPAC turned the gathering into a "Sharia-compliant conference."
Ah, Republicans...the party of Lincoln John Birch Society lunacy, bigotry, etc.
P.S. Somehow, 10th CD Republican candidate Rob Wasinger manages to segue from the evils of Sharia Law and the Muslim Brotherhood to Grover Norquist's "work for the gay rights community" and how that "is also very troubling." Again, I ask: WTF? Also, where was Barbara Comstock in all this, and has she denounced this crap or does she agree with it? Of course, given that Frank Wolf appears to be on the same Islamophobic page as the rest of these nuts, and given that Comstock badly wants Wolf's endorsement (which she still hasn't gotten, for whatever reason), I strongly doubt that she'll be denouncing this intolerance and bigotry anytime soon...
Today as we stop to celebrate Earth Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment to marvel in the beauty and bounty of the earth, particularly the diversity of the Commonwealth's natural gems - from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Eastern Shore.
My passion for restoring and preserving the Chesapeake Bay was one of the driving forces that motivated me to get involved in politics and public policy.
The Chesapeake Bay is a shining example of how the commitment of citizens paired with effective public policy can truly make an impact. Responsibly caring for the Commonwealth's natural resources remains one of my greatest passions.
As a Senator, I carried the legislation to remove phosphorus from home fertilizers; brought the legislation to create the Coastal Flooding Working group to study the effects of climate change on Virginia's coastal communities; and worked to ban the winter dredging of blue crabs.
But as we celebrate the splendor of the earth today, we also are reminded to the great responsibility we shoulder to preserve and protect it for future generations. The effects of climate change are real and threaten the natural habitats of many animals, but also human lives around the globe. Combating the effects of climate change go hand in hand with celebrating Earth Day, and we must continue to address these issues through informed public policy decisions at all levels.
Good question from the Democratic Party of Virginia:
The Democratic Party of Virginia sent Ed Gillespie the following letter today asking where he stood on the Ryan budget:
Dear Ed Gillespie:
As Virginia waits for you to finally form your policy agenda, we wanted to see where you stand on a central issue for Republicans in Congress - the Ryan budget. You may have heard about its harmful effects on Virginia's seniors, students, and hardworking families.
But in case you and your policy advisors have been too busy to take a look, we have enclosed a copy of the budget so that you can get back to the people of Virginia with how you would vote.
As 219 Republican members of Congress voted for the measure, we look forward to hearing your opinion on these policy proposals that so many in the GOP have embraced!
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, April 22. Also check out the fascinating interview with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens about his book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution."
Mark Herring has accomplished a great deal of good in his first 100 days in office. I'm proud to have played a (small) role in helping elect him, and look forward to a lot more great stuff in the next 100 days and beyond!
~ Takes action to protect rights of Virginians and modernize Office of the Attorney General ~
"Working together, we have hit the ground running to provide greater opportunity for all Virginians, promote equality, protect our shared assets, work in a bipartisan way on legislation to make Virginia more secure, and restore trust in the public sector," Attorney General Herring said. "I've heard directly from public safety and elected officials all across the Commonwealth about critical, emerging issues we can help address. I'm proud of the work we have done and look forward to tackling the challenges that lie ahead."
In addition to maintaining the core functions of the office, below are some of the more noteworthy initiatives undertaken in these first 100 days:
This is even funnier when you consider that Barbara Comstock lied about participating in Rush Limbaugh's 2008 "Operation Chaos," keeps changing her story, and generally can't figure out a consistent narrative on why she voted for Barack Obama in the February 12, 2008 Democratic primary. Weird.
LOUDOUN, Va. - "No 'Operation Chaos' 2014" says 10th District Democratic Committee Chair Charlie Jackson.
Despite Republican candidate Barbara Comstock's example of meddling in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary by voting for then-Senator Barack Obama, Chair Jackson vowed Monday that the 10th Congressional District committee would not advocate for such an effort, "I think its wrong, and I think its bad for the democratic process," Jackson said.
Comstock's vote for Obama in 2008 has drawn ire from many. Comstock notably claimed her motivation for casting a sabotage-vote in the primary was due to orders sent from radio entertainer Rush Limbaugh. 
On April 16th the Washington Post editorialized that "[b]eing a sycophant to Mr. Limbaugh is bad enough; it's even worse when the sycophancy is based on a fabrication. (In response to our inquiries, Ms. Comstock acknowledges that her 'recollection' was flawed, and that her vote had nothing to do with Limbaugh)." 
Comstock's Republican opponents in the primary smelled a lie and pounced, excoriating Comstock at the Purcellville GOP voter town hall. Comstock was absent from the debate.
Rob Wasinger, a onetime House staffer, paraphrased the notorious outburst by Representative Joe Wilson during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address and shouted "Barbara: You lie!" for the benefit of the audience. 
Limbaugh's "operation" would be difficult in the 10th CD GOP primary, acknowledged Chair Jackson: "Because the Republican committee has decided that a voter's history of party loyalty will be investigated prior to being provided a ballot, people like Comstock will be forced to sign a 'loyalty oath' prior to voting in the primary."
The "loyalty oath," or "statement of intent" to support the eventual nominee is part of the vetting process before citizens will be allowed to participate in the closed GOP "firehouse primary." 
Are more early voting locations for the 8th CD Democratic primary coming to less affluent parts of Fairfax County? Based on Del. Scott Surovell's Facebook post, following up on Del. Patrick Hope's call "to see at least one early vote location in south county for Lee and Mt. Vernon districts, and at least one in northeastern Fairfax for our precincts in the Dranesville, Providence and Mason districts," it's looking a bit more likely this morning. First, a bit of background per Del. Hope's press release.
...The only opportunity to vote in person in Fairfax is also at the electoral board office, however, it is located in western Fairfax County near the border of the 10th and 11th Congressional districts. For many 8th district residents in Mt. Vernon, it is more than a 20 mile drive to the government center. Roundtrip, many 8th district residents in Fairfax will likely have to spend more than an hour in the car in order to vote absentee in person.
This is unacceptable. I understand that Fairfax has not traditionally had early vote locations other than the main government center for primaries. However, while that may have worked well for an 11th district primary, or a 10th district primary, it does not serve the residents of the 8th district...
The discussion on Del. Surovell's Facebook page between Surovell and Fairfax County electoral official Brian Schoeneman (R) is also very interesting. Schoeneman begins by asserting, "Given the historically low turnout we've seen in past June primaries, it's hard to justify the expense to the taxpayers of opening a satellite center somewhere in the 8th District." In addition, he argues, "Folks who are unable or are unwilling to make the round trip from Mount Vernon to the Government Center can simply mail their absentee ballots in, as well."
In response, Del. Surovell writes: "US1 has the largest transit dependent population in the County. In my experience knocking doors, it also has huge numbers of people with multiple jobs who work very long hours not subject to their own control. They can't get to the Government Center." Schoeneman responds, "If folks can't get to the Government Center for in-person absentee, they should mail their absentee ballots" and argues that "the vast majority of absentee votes are sent in via the mail." Surovell's response:
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