Blog Roll
Who's My Legislator?

Virginia Blogs
All Things Education
Augusta Free Press
Bacon's Rebellion
Crew of 42
Dixie Pig
Greater Greater Washington
Loudoun Progress
Ox Road South Blog
Pilot on Politics" blog
Power for the People
Richmond Sunlight
RVA Politics
Shad Plank
Vivian Paige
Waldo Jaquith

Find more about Weather in Arlington, VA
Click for weather forecast

Advanced Search

Dominion's Errors, Accidents Reduce Confidence in Ability to Build Natural Gas Pipeline Safely

by: pontoon

Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 14:54:24 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

Free Nelson has been reporting on errors, accidents and violations by Dominion and/or its partnerships over the last several months. We became interested in Dominion's safety record last May, when Nelsonians began receiving letters regarding a 554-mile long, 42" natural gas pipeline known then as the Southern Reliability Project.  The pipeline has since been renamed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), and is now a partnership between Dominion, Duke, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.

The proposed ACP would cut a 125' swath, wide enough for a 6-lane highway, through Nelson's steep, forested terrain, as well through our rolling farmland.  The originally-proposed route for Nelson is approximately 30 miles, entering at the county's northeast corner near Humpback Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It would travel in a southeasterly direction to the James River. This route, or any of the other four recently announced alternate routes through the county, would traverse the land of hundreds of private property owners.

We have heard all the platitudes. The most often heard is that "pipelines are the safest way to transport natural gas." Actually, it is the only way natural gas is transported. But that doesn't mean it is safe. As pipelines increase in size, it becomes more imperative that we know the risks to those in the path of these behemoths. In 2012, a 20" natural gas pipeline exploded in Sissonville, WV along Interstate 77, melting 800' of the interstate highway, destroying three homes and damaging countless others.  Another pipeline, in Appomattox County, Virginia, exploded in 2008, destroying two homes, melting the siding on over 100 others as far as a mile away. Clearly, the radiational heat from these explosions is tremendous.  Yet here in Nelson, Dominion (which has chosen the proposed path) puts existing lawndowners' homes within 330' of a much larger, 42" pipeline which operates at a much higher 1,440 psi than the two pipeline explosions we gave as examples.

We won't address Dominion's many lies, nor the crass, bullying behavior of Dominion toward landowners and our community in this article. But we will share with you the many errors, unreported violations, fines and accidents Dominion and its partnerships have been party to over the last few years.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1517 words in story)

Video: AG Mark Herring Says We Should Be "Ashamed" of Predatory Lending in VA, Vows to Fight It

by: lowkell

Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 09:23:43 AM EDT

Yet again, the difference between having right-wing extremist Mark Obenshain (shudddderrrr) as Virginia Attorney General, and having Mark Herring as our AG, is immense. In this case, Herring is fighting against a despicable practice - predatory lending. "...on matters large and on matters small, we are going to fight for the rights of Virginia consumers. But there's one place where we need to do more and we're going to do more. I read a few weeks ago that Virginia is now considered the predatory lending capital of the East Coast, and I cannot accept that. It hurts our reputation as a state, and more than that, it means that here are Virginians who are being hurt, and I cannot accept that." Full remarks on the "flip."

P.S. "Democrats" like Dick Saslaw who support predatory lending should be ashamed of themselves.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 965 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Mar 27, 2015 at 06:19:21 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, March 27. Also, check out comedian Aasif Mandvi at the 2015 RTCA Dinner ripping the corporate media's incompetence and idiocy.

*Plane crash called deliberate act ("French prosecutor blames co-pilot in chilling scenario")
*How can airlines prevent crashes like this in future?
*Egypt warships steam toward Yemen coast ("Saudi Arabia continued its bombardment as Egypt prepared to join the Arab-led offensive against Shiite rebels in Yemen.")
*Pat Robertson: 'Was the co-pilot a Muslim? Why did he want to kill all those people?' (More right-wing bigotry and lunacy.)
*GOP's "religious freedom" riot: How a bigoted Indiana law could roil GOP primary (Did I just say "more right-wing bigotry and lunacy?" Yes, yes I did!)
*Senate Approves Budget of G.O.P. Wishes in All-Night Session (This budget would be ruinous for America.)
*Scott Walker Adjusts Stance on Immigration at Private Dinner
*Krugman: Mornings in Blue America ("So, as I said at the beginning, the fact that we're now seeing mornings in blue America - solid job growth both at the national level and in states that have defied the right's tax-cutting, deregulatory orthodoxy - is a big problem for conservatives. Although they would never admit it, events have proved their most cherished beliefs wrong.")
*Derik Jones enters Senate race for Dance's seat
*McAuliffe says he will amend ethics bill before signing ("The bill would cap gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers at $100. But it has come under fire for a variety of perceived loopholes, including elimination of an aggregate cap on gifts." This thing needs a TON of help!)
*McAuliffe vetoes redistricting bills, defends Atlantic Coast Pipeline project (The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not particularly defensible, and it certainly shouldn't be defended by a Democratic governor.)
*Press Pass: McAuliffe stands by Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Utter bull****.)
*Va. Attorney General Herring to focus on predatory lending (We badly need alternatives to these predators.)
*McAuliffe signs clean budget, bill vetoes coming

There's More... :: (13 Comments, 171 words in story)

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Go Hand In Hand

by: zhjarjou

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 16:20:02 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)


I used to think I was working to “stop climate change”. I can’t tell you how many times I used those words while working as a volunteer and student activist back in my home state of Mississippi. The renewable energy campaigns, organizing skills workshops, and multitudes of events that we hosted all focused on building people power to stop the climate crisis. It was good work, it was fun work, it was difficult work, and in retrospect it was a bit naïve. That last statement needs to qualified; the concept of “stopping climate change” was naïve in the sense that it portrays the issue as one with a simple solution. It probably also contributed to the difficulty of the work because it didn’t convey the true urgency of climate change.  

Fast forward five years and a lot has changed. We are no longer talking about climate change as just something we will experience in the future. A myriad of reports, studies, and articles have been written and released over the past several years that discuss the impacts of climate change that we are seeing now. Hampton Roads has consistently been getting national media attention because we’re one of the places that climate change impacts (specifically sea level rise) are most visible.

This brings me to the title of the article, Adaptation and Mitigation Goes Hand In Hand. First it is helpful to define these two terms. Adaptation is to “become adjusted to new conditions” and in terms of climate change and sea level rise in Hampton Roads includes things like raising roads and houses and changing building standards to account for rising seas and resulting flooding.  Mitigation is “the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something” and in terms of climate change basically boils down to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions which includes things like transitioning from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas to clean, renewable energy like wind, solar, geothermal, reducing wasted energy through energy efficiency, as well as addressing emissions generated by our system of food production.

As I mentioned earlier, portraying an issue as something far off in the future downplays the urgency and doesn’t help when trying to get people involved in a social movement. But on the other end of the spectrum, specifically with regards to climate change, the urgency of the issue can also push the conversation to focus more heavily on the adaptation side of the solutions, things that people will see and feel in the immediate future (for example someone’s house being elevated to adapt to flooding). It is critical for the future of Hampton Roads for us to keep the focus on both mitigation and adaptation. No matter how much we adapt to climate change if we ignore the need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions the problem will only persist and get worse, and all the effort and money put towards adaptation efforts will eventually be all for nothing.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 831 words in story)

Dominion Plan for New Gas-Fired Power Plant Would Worsen the Climate Crisis

by: lowkell

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 12:14:19 PM EDT

Statement from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network on Dominion's latest bull****:
RICHMOND-Dominion Resources, already the top emitter of planet-heating greenhouse gas pollution in Virginia, announced a proposal this morning to build a new 1,600-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Southside Virginia. If approved, the plant would be the largest gas-fired power plant in the state.

Kirsten Collings, deputy director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement in response:

"You can't solve the climate crisis by investing in more fossil fuels. A growing body of evidence shows that fracked gas could be worse for the climate than coal over the next 20 years because of leaks of heat-trapping methane. Governor McAuliffe has his facts wrong in endorsing this project as 'clean,' just as he did when endorsing Dominion's massive Atlantic Coast pipeline for fracked gas.

"The reality is that Virginia simply doesn't need and can't afford new investments in fossil fuels. Dominion could more than offset the need to build a new gas-burning power plant by investing in modest energy-saving technologies that would reduce demand along with Virginians' utility bills. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Virginians pay the 7th highest average electric bills in the nation, and our state ranks near the bottom on energy efficiency. Dominion should invest in the commonwealth's vast clean energy resources, which would create jobs, lower bills and reduce emissions of climate-disrupting pollution."

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Another Candidate Set to Jump in Dem Primary to Succeed Sen. John Watkins?

by: lowkell

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 10:25:18 AM EDT

In the race to succeed retiring State Senator John Watkins (R-SD10), the candidates currently listed on VPAP are: Dems Emily Francis (a strong progressive and environmentalist, Dan Gecker (who has run as an "I" in the past and who says his political hero is Ronald Reagan); Republican Glen Sturtevant; and Libertarian Carl Loser. In the Dem primary, since the strongest progressive and environmentalist by far is Emily Francis, you just know who the Dem "powers that be" (e.g., Dick Saslaw, who despises progressives and environmentalists with a burning passion) would be supporting the conservadem, and you'd be right.

But now, a major wild card is rumored to be entering the race, and it could mess up all of the "powers that be"'s well-laid plans. That would Alex McMurtrie, a former Republican (correction: the Washington Post article I linked to was wrong, McMurtrie was a Democrat, although it's easy to confuse, as his campaign slogan reportedly was "Conservative Alex McMurtrie" - lol) House of Delegates member (back in the 1980s), now, who last ran (as an "I") and got crushed by John Watkins (R), who's now retiring, back in 1999.

Who knows what the guy really is now, but he donates to both Rs and Ds. Anyway, I hear from sources that he turned in his petitions yesterday to run as a Democrat in the primary for the SD-10 Dem primary. This could be fascinating, as it means two white, male, conservadems will be running, along with a woman who happens to be a progressive and environmentalist. Also, McMurtrie is by all accounts "loaded" in terms of money. So...could McMurtrie split the votes with Gecker and gives Francis a clear path to winning this primary? We can only hope. Stay tuned.

P.S. I also hear our old friend Paul Goldman may be involved in the McMurtrie race. Goldman's really got to be giving Dick Saslaw heartburn these days, and I can't say that doesn't put a smile on my face. :)

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Courageous Stafford County Parent Gives Impassioned Plea for Respect of Transgender Student

by: lowkell

Wed Mar 25, 2015 at 17:36:24 PM EDT

Last night, the Stafford County School Board, prior to voting, took public feedback on a debate over transgender students' bathroom access. For some background,  see Think Progress, which explains:
Hartwood Elementary School, part of the Stafford County school system, started by accommodating the student's identity. She was allowed to use the girls' room per her gender identity and in consultation with her parents. When another parent complained, the district's Executive Director of Human Resources, Rick L. Fitzgerald, released a message on behalf of the district referring to recent guidance from the Department of Justice that indicates that the "sex" protections under Title IX protect transgender students' use of facilities that match the gender with which they identify. Allowing the fourth-grader to use the girls' room was simply the district complying with the law.

...The transgender student's father, Jonathan Adams, also testified. He admitted to having some of the same misconceptions when the child he thought was his son insisted she was a girl. "And then I watched my little girl grow up," he said. Adams proclaimed that he was "very proud to have a special little girl," and implored others "not to trade understanding for fear or trade misconceptions for hate."

Later in the evening, however, the school board voted 6-0 to direct the superintendent to restrict the girl's bathroom use.

Also interesting were the comments by the public. For the entire debate, most of which involved parents opposed to allowing the transgender student (who identifies as female) to use the girls' bathroom, see here. The video I've included is of a courageous parent (of two students in the Stafford County school system) delivering an impassioned plea for respect and tolerance for the transgender student. Sadly, her pleas feel on deaf ears...
Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 06:32:16 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, March 26. Also, courtesy of Stafford Dem Marc Broklawski, check out the "'greatest hits' compilation of extreme Tea Party testimony bullying the Stafford School Board into abandoning Title IX." It's kinda like watching Faux "News" or Glenn Beck or something. And no, that is NOT a good thing! Ugh.

*Slandering solar is not about protecting taxpayers, but utility's monopoly status (By former Rep. Barry Goldwater, Jr.)
*Saudi Arabia launches heavy strikes in Yemen
*Pilot reportedly locked out of cockpit as plane crashed
*Bowe Bergdahl, once-missing U.S. soldier, charged with desertion
*Opinion analysis: A small victory for minority voters, or a case with "profound" constitutional implications?
*Should Your State Be Able to Ignore the Nation's Most Important Pollution Law? ("Republicans think so." And of course, yet again, they are wildly wrong.)
*Obama's Very Smart Reason for Being So Tough on Netanyahu (Agreed, stay the course.)
*McAuliffe to sign state budget with no amendments or vetoes ("A year after Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly engaged in a bitter, three-month standoff over adopting a budget, the governor on Thursday is expected to sign a revised budget without any amendments or line-item vetoes.")
*Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to veto about 20 bills (He should have vetoed or heavily amended the Dominion bill too.)
*Rep. Beyer set to replace Rep. Van Hollen as DCCC finance chair
*Dominion plans to build natural gas power plant in Southside (Again, they should first and foremost be maxing out energy efficiency, which they most certainly are not, and also renewable energy, before building any new fossil-fuel power plants.)
*Morrissey announces Senate bid, vacates House seat ("Del. Joe Morrissey, I-Henrico County, on Wednesday formally announced his bid for state Sen. Rosalyn Dance's seat in the 16th Senate district. As required by state law, Morrissey vacated his seat in the 74th House of Delegates district.")
*McAuliffe orders Va. ABC officers to be retrained in use of force, diversity
*Budget to take Beach forward ("The knee-jerk response to a proposal - by anyone, anywhere - to increase taxes by 6.4 percent is NO. It's particularly true in Virginia Beach, where the city manager has recommended increasing the real estate tax rate to 99 cents per $100 worth of property. Residents are unconvinced of the need.")
*SCOTUS Alabama decision may affect Virginia election maps
*Mother, daughter from Virginia on flight that crashed in French Alps
*Editorial: Morrissey isn't getting state political leaders' hints
*Temperatures in 70s Thursday, showers likely; snow possible Friday night

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

SCOTUS Ruling on Alabama Racial "Packing" Could Be Important Precedent for Virginia Cases

by: lowkell

Wed Mar 25, 2015 at 12:58:16 PM EDT

Today's Supreme Court decision on racial gerrymandering invalidates an Alabama redistricting plan that packed minority voters into  majority-minority districts. What "packing" African Americans does is to basically guarantee an African-American will be elected in the "packed" district(s), but that African Americans' voting power will be diluted everywhere else.

Here in Virginia, this issue came to a head last fall, when three federal judges ruled "that the lines of the state's 3rd Congressional District were drawn in violation of the U.S. Constitution" and "ordered the General Assembly to redraw them by April 1, in time for the next congressional election in 2016."

The 3rd District is the only one of Virginia's 11 congressional districts with an African American majority. It has been represented since 1992 by Rep. Bobby Scott, a Newport News Democrat who is unopposed in the Nov. 4 election.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges agreed with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed a year ago that the congressional redistricting plan adopted by the Republican-controlled Assembly in 2012 amounted to racial gerrymandering, packing African American voters into Scott's district and leaving adjoining districts safer for their Republican incumbents.

In order to comply with the panel's ruling, the legislature might have to pull some Democratic-leaning voters out of Scott's district and redistribute them to surrounding districts, possibly creating less-hospitable electoral terrain for Republican Reps. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake and Scott Rigell of Virginia Beach.

Note that in 2012, Barack Obama lost the 4th CD (Forbes' district) by just 1 point, while Tim Kaine narrowly won it. Thus, a shift of even a few points could make Randy Forbes' political life a lot less cozy. Same thing with Scott Rigell, whose second district Barack Obama narrowly won in 2012.

Meanwhile, yet another Virginia lawsuit accuses "the General Assembly of 'racial gerrymandering' by packing black voters into 12 of the state's House of Delegates districts." For that reason, "[t]he plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the challenged districts invalid and to block the state from holding elections because of the disputed districts." If plaintiffs win this case, it could lead to the redrawing not just of the affected districts, but also potentially surrounding ones as well. And that, in turn, could have significant consequences for the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates. Not surprisingly, House of Delegates Republicans are in no hurry to deal with this situation, and would clearly prefer that it just go away. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for those who dislike racial gerrymandering and "packing," that's not likely.

Bottom line: Today's SCOTUS ruling has potentially big implications for Virginia, because Rep. Bobby Scott's case is factually similar, as is the House of Delegates case.  

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Video: Rep. Gerry Connolly Slams House GOP Draconian Budget

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 17:57:24 PM EDT

So true!
Mr. Chairman, this year's Republican Budget Resolution is incredulously titled "A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America." But by every measure, the draconian cuts proposed in this budget would severely WEAKEN America's innovative advantage and competitiveness. It might as well be called "Let's Disinvest in America".

Consider the cuts to basic research, once a bedrock federal priority that has spurred new discoveries that are now vital in our daily lives and the economy. R&D is critical for my Northern Virginian district, where the technology community is driving innovation. But this Republican budget would slash R&D funding by 15% to its lowest levels since 2002. That is a retreat from America's role as the global innovation leader, and essentially cedes the playing field to our international competition.

Similarly, the Republican budget would disinvest in our classrooms. To achieve their ruse of balancing the budget over 10 years, Republicans would cut non-defense spending 24% below the already-reduced sequester levels. For K-12 education, that translates into an $89 billion cut over the next decade and would surely leave every child behind their international peers. It also would put higher education further out of reach for low- and middle-class families.

America did not ascend to its role as the world's leading economy by quashing the potential of future innovators and leaders.

Mr. Speaker, our Republican colleagues are once again showing they know the cost of everything and  the value of very little. I often hear my colleagues lament that we should run government more like a business. Well, if that's the case, perhaps we should start by listening to the business community, which is advocating for us to invest more, not less, in R&D, in education, and in infrastructure for the future workforce and the building blocks of a competitive economy.

These are investments that yield tremendous returns for our families, for our children, for our future, and the Republican budget would eviscerate these pillars of America's exceptionalism.

I yield back

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Mar 25, 2015 at 06:37:40 AM EDT

Here are a few Virginia and national news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, March 25.

*How American journalists deal with climate deniers ("The basic mental model that has governed U.S. journalism for decades - two mirror-image sides, each with their moderates and extremists, engaging in normal politics - is crumbling and it's not clear what journalism will look like when the dust clears.")
*Oil And Gas Giant BP Cuts Ties With Conservative Group ALEC
*Obama: Remarks dim prospects for Palestinian state (Thanks in large part to the right wing, both in Israel and their misguided supporters here.)
*Black box damaged in German jetliner crash
*Satellite scientist cited by Ted Cruz disagrees with him on climate change (Cruz just lies and lies and lies and lies and...)
*Ted Cruz going on Obamacare (Almost seems like an "Onion" headline for this lying hypocrite and Joe McCarthy-style demagogue.)
*Liberals, Conservatives, and Jobs ("Republicans...are desperately trying to claim that the economic recovery now underway is an illusion. They can't handle the truth.")
*Editorial: Gov. McAuliffe should impose a moratorium on the death penalty
*Ruling could mean delays for Atlantic Coast Pipeline (How about delaying it forever? Stupid idea by a bunch of greedy people.)
*Vetos likely for bills on home-schooled athletes, absentee ballots (Good on both!)
*Navy response to Islamic State "hit list" frustrates families
*U-Va. board approves 11% increase in tuition, fees for in-state freshmen ("The plan will also lower borrowing caps for those in need by $10,000.")
*Jeb Bush donates $10,000 to state GOP (Guess who wants to win the Virginia Republicans primary? LOL)
*Report: Va. governor received special treatment from Homeland Security ("DHS's now-No. 2 official intervened for Terry McAuliffe, who sought visas for investors in his company.")
*Our view: What police didn't say in the UVa rape report
*A better way to pick judges in Virginia ("Judgeships shouldn't be patronage positions, yet that's what they've routinely become; after leaving elected office, state lawmakers themselves frequently end up years - or, in some cases, months - later working full time in the judiciary.")
*Martese Johnson's education happened on that sidewalk ("He asked 'How could this happen?' as he was violently arrested. But he needed to have known before then.")
*Fairfax county attorney lays out plans for change after Geer controversy
*Schapiro: ABC bust of Martese Johnson spotlights alphabet soup of cop shops
*U-Va. sought inquiry into gang-rape claim 6 months before magazine story
*Editorial Charlottesville police, justice department reports are cautionary tales
*Morrissey claims unfair treatment as he bids for Senate seat
*Virginia Beach's arena development is moving at a slow crawl
*David Lambert announces run for Morrissey's seat
*A chance of passing showers today ahead of Thursday's burst of spring

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Dominion/Atlantic Coast Pipeline Suit Dismissed in Suffolk Circuit Court

by: pontoon

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 17:18:03 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

In May, 2014 Dominion Transmission sent letters to property owners from West Virginia to North Carolina requesting to survey private property for the proposed natural gas pipeline known then as the Southern Reliability Project. Many landowners refused, including approximately 70% of landowners in Nelson County.

In December, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, a Delaware limited liability corporation, began suing landowners who had refused to allow Dominion Transmission to survey. The first of these cases was heard today in Suffolk Circuit Court. Below is a press release from Chuck Lollar, the attorney who argued the case for a landowner in Suffolk who had refused the survey.   Suffice it to say, neither Dominion nor the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) LLC are happy this evening. On the other hand, many landowners across the Commonwealth are celebrating, including Heidi Cochran, a landowner in Nelson County who called us this afternoon to alert us of this victory in court.

A Virginia court today dismissed the petition of Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC against a Suffolk property owner represented by Chuck Lollar of the law firm of Waldo & Lyle, which exclusively represents property owners only in eminent domain and property rights matters.

The Court heard arguments from Mr. Lollar and ACP attorney John Wilburn on the constitutionality of Virginia Code § 56-49.01.  Mr. Lollar argued that because property is now specifically referred to in the recent amendment to Virginia's Declaration of Rights (Article 1 Section 11 of the Constitution) as a "fundamental" right, ACP is required to show a compelling governmental interest and no lesser restrictive alternative to the requested entry;  and that applying the required strict scrutiny ACP had not alleged nor could establish either.  Mr. Lollar also noted that ACP was not a Virginia public service corporation and did not have the extraordinary power of eminent domain.

ACP was proceeding under § 56-49.01 in seeking a court order allowing entry to survey and take soil and other samples from private property, prior to filing its application with FERC for a certificate of public convenience and necessity.  The Court did not have to rule on that constitutionality of § 56-49.01 due to the Court's  conclusion that Atlantic Coast Pipeline had neither requested permission from the owner to enter nor sent the owner notice of intent to enter, both of which are prerequisites to actual entry under § 56-49.01. The Court further held that Dominion Transmission, Inc. could not assign to ACP its sending of letters requesting permission and giving notice to owners,  in order for ACP to have met those requirements.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

How Are Virginia Dems Doing So Far in House of Delegates Recruitment?

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 16:06:54 PM EDT

A few weeks ago, I posted a graphic showing Virginia's House of Delegates districts, ranked in descending order by the percent that AG candidate Mark Herring received in 2013. Now, I'm well aware that turnout in 2015 will be even lower than 2013 (a statewide/governor's election year), but it's still a more accurate baseline, IMHO, than any "even year" election.

Anyway, what this ranking showed was that there are currently 12 House of Delegates districts where Mark Herring received 50% or greater in 2013, yet are held by Republican delegates. There are also two 49% Herring districts, two 48% Herring districts, two 47% Herring districts, and four 46% Herring districts currently held by Republican delegates. So how are we doing (e.g., how are House Minority Leader David Toscano and Del. Alfonso Lopez, Campaign and Political Chair of the House Democratic Caucus) in terms of recruitment in these districts so far?

According to VPAP, we now have a (super-strong) candidate, Jennifer Boysko, in the 86th district, where Del. Tom Rust has announced his retirement. Nothing's an automatic, but that one looks like a superb pickup opportunity for Democrats this November. We also have candidates in the following districts:

*HD-87 (56% Herring district): Democrat Jack Tiwari vs. Del. David Ramadan
*HD-32 (54% Herring district): Democrat Elizabeth Miller vs. Del. Tag Greason
*HD-42 (53% Herring district): Democrat Joana Garcia vs. Del. Dave Albo
*HD-13 (51% Herring district): Democrat Don Shaw vs. Del. "Sideshow Bob" Marshall
*HD-12 (50% Herring district): Democrat Laurie Buchwald vs. Del. Joseph Yost
*HD-21 (50% Herring district): Democrat Susan Hippen vs. Del. Ron Villanueva
*HD-50 (50% Herring district): Democrat Kyle McCullough vs. Del. Jackson Miller
*HD-94 (49% Herring district): Democrat Shelly Simonds vs. Del. David Yancey
*HD-100 (49% Herring distirct): Democrat Willie Randall vs. Del. Rob Bloxom
*HD-28 (48% Herring district): Democrat Kandy Hilliard vs. House Speaker Bill Howell (let's hope Tea Partier Susan Stimpson wins that primary!)
*HD-40 (47% Herring district): Democrat Jerry Foltz vs. Del. Tim Hugo

All in all, not too shabby, and we still have time to recruit candidates in remaining potentially competitive, House of Delegates districts. In the end, this could turn out to be an excellent year in terms of recruitment. The question is whether we'll be able to adequately fund these candidates, as Republicans started off 2015 with a big money advantage for House of Delegates.

The remaining top House of Delegates recruiting priorities, as far as I can tell, are: 1) someone to challenge Del. Jim LeMunyon in his 54% Mark Herring district (in 2013, Democrat Hung Nguyen got 45.3%); 2) ditto for right-wingnut extraordinaire Del. Scott Lingamfelter, in his 52% Mark Herring district (last time around, Jeremy McPike lost by just 228 votes; not sure why he's not trying again this year!); 3) ditto against Del. Rich Anderson in his 50% Mark Herring district (Democrat Reed Heddleston got 46% in 2013).

One other seat worth noting is the 2nd, a 56% Mark Herring district being vacacted by Del. Michael Futrell. Our candidate there is Roderick Hall, who will take on former Del. Mark Dudenhefer.  

P.S. I just read this morning that "Political newcomer Chuck Hedges, a Democrat, will challenge incumbent state Del. David LaRock (R) in this year's House of Delegates 33rd District election." That's a tough district (44% for Mark Herring in 2013), but what the heck, you can't win if you don't play!

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

10 Out of 11 Members of Virginia House Delegation Sign Letter to President Obama on Iran

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 10:57:18 AM EDT

Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that 367 members of the U.S. House of Representatives had signed and "released a bipartisan letter to President Obama underscoring the 'grave and urgent issues that have arisen' relating to the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran." The actionable part is at the end (see blockquote below), following a list of Iran's transgressions (e.g., " Iran has still not revealed its past bomb work, despite its international obligations to do so;" "Iran's decades of deception," and "Iran's destabilizing role in the regio").  The letter also states a clear demand that any agreement with Iran "must constrain Iran's nuclear infrastructure so that Iran has no pathway to a bomb, and that agreement must be long-lasting."
The United States has had a longstanding interest in preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Over the last twenty years, Congress has passed numerous pieces of legislation, imposing sanctions on Iran to prevent that outcome, ultimately forcing Iran into negotiations. Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation. In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.

Resolving the nuclear crisis with Iran remains of grave importance to our nation's security. As the Administration continues to negotiate with Iran, we are prepared to evaluate any agreement to determine its long-term impact on the United States and our allies. We remain hopeful that a diplomatic solution preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon may yet be reached, and we want to work with you to assure such a result.

The Iran letter was signed by 10 out of 11 members of Virginia's House delegation, the only non-signatory being Rep. Don Beyer. I'm curious why Beyer didn't sign (I emailed his office late yesterday but haven't heard back), while the other two Virginia Democrats - Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott - did. Personally, I can see reasons for signing and for not signing. Although I don't really disagree with anything in the letter, the question is whether it is helpful, harmful, or where exactly in between those two?

P.S. For a list of the 59 House Dems and 6 House Republicans who didn't sign the letter, click here -- a mixed bag ideologically, geographically, etc.  

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 06:28:03 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, March 24. Also, check out Joe Morrissey saying he'd be willing to caucus with far-right-wing State Senator Tommy Norment and the Republicans if he is elected to the State Senate. Yet ANOTHER reason not to vote for this slimeball.

*Ted Cruz wants to bring his aversion to compromise to the 2016 fight (The LAST thing this country needs is someone as extreme as Ted Cruz.)
*Meet Ted Cruz's Karl Rove: "He Leaves a Path of Destruction" ("As Cruz's 2016 rivals will soon find out, Jeff Roe is infamous for his 'ruthless' tactics.")
*367 House Members Send Letter on Iran Nuclear Negotiations to President Obama (The letter is here. As far as I can tell, 10 of 11 memmbers of the Virginia House delegation signed, the only exception being Rep. Don Beyer.)
*Netanyahu Apologizes; White House Is Unmoved (I wouldn't believe a word Bibi says on anything.)
*Smithsonian Stands By Wildly Misleading Climate Change Exhibit Paid For By Kochs (Totally unacceptable.)
*Warner, Kaine call for crude by rail safety investments
*Liberty lets Cruz crash McAuliffe speech date
*Editorial: Did Sen. Kaine start political climate change?
*15 Hampton Roads sailors on Islamic State "hit list"
*Our view: Will there be a Republican presidential primary in Virginia?
*Charlottesville police: No evidence found of gang rape at U-Va. fraternity
*Police chief: No evidence that UVa gang rape took place
*Editorial: Shameless Joe Morrissey refuses to go away
*Deep feud splitting Virginia's GOP evident in party's fundraising woes ("Split between the tea party and a less-conservative faction, the state's GOP is struggling financially.")
*Tyler, Thomas drop out of running for Watkins seat ("... leaving Richmond School Board member Glen Sturtevant as the likely Republican nominee.")
*Under bill, college transcripts would note misconduct ("A bill on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk would require schools to mark the transcripts of students involved in misconduct, in hopes of stopping sexual predators from transferring schools.")
*UVa fraternity exploring legal options regarding Rolling Stone story
*Suing Rolling Stone might be a 'colossal mistake' for the U-Va. frat
*Attorney: Va. student in bloody arrest to plead not guilty
*Legislation proposes to remove ABC's law enforcement powers
*24th District Republicans want to shut down primary
*Morrissey moved outside of his district - but plans to stay put in the House
*Va. Beach real estate tax rate could rise by 6 cents
*Fairfax police commission begins work with emotional pleas for results
*A chance of flurries early today; warming up to the 70s on Thursday

Discuss :: (3 Comments)
<< Previous Next >>

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?



Donate to Blue Virginia

Recommended Diaries
- No Recommended Diaries at this time

Recent Diaries

Recent Comments

The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

P.S. You can contact us at and you can subscribe to Lowell's Twitter feed here. If you'd like to subscribe to Miles Grant's Twitter feed, click here. For Teacherken, click here. For Kindler, click here.

P.P.S. To see the Blue Virginia archive, please click here. To see the Raising Kaine archive, please click here. To see the Blue Commonwealth archive, please click here.

RSS Feed

Subscribe to Blue Virginia - Front Page

Powered by: SoapBlox