VaNews

Monday July 24, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

Virginia Private College Week (July 24-29)

Virginia's private colleges invite families to explore our campuses, visit admissions and financial aid representatives, and learn about our exceptional academic and extracurricular opportunities. www.vaprivatecolleges.org

Executive Branch


REVAMPED BOARD OF CORRECTIONS 'NEEDED AND NECESSARY'

By K. BURNELL EVANS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced five additions Friday to the state Board of Corrections that as of July 1 became responsible for reviewing jail deaths — a job that had largely gone undone. The new appointees and four returning members will be charged with closing a major gap in oversight exposed by the death of Jamycheal Mitchell at Hampton Roads Regional Jail in August 2015.



GOVERNOR APPOINTS JACK KENNEDY TO VIRGINIA AVIATION BOARD

By ROBERT SORRELL , Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has named Jack Kennedy, Wise County’s circuit court clerk, to the Virginia Aviation Board. The eight member board publicizes and monitors policies and programs of the Virginia Department of Aviation, promulgates regulations necessary to promote and develop safe aviation practices and allocates funds to localities for aviation development.

State Elections


NORTHAM CALLS TRUMP 'A DANGEROUS MAN' AS GILLESPIE SAYS 'RESISTANCE' COULD HURT VIRGINIA

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrat Ralph Northam stood by his sharp critiques of President Donald Trump Saturday during the first debate of Virginia's gubernatorial election, while Republican Ed Gillespie suggested that having a governor who insults the president would hurt the state's ability to secure federal dollars.



VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S DEBATE REVOLVES AROUND TRUMP

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor argued Saturday over the typical debate fare — guns, abortion, health care — as well as the best approach to dealing with President Donald Trump.



IN FIRST DEBATE, GILLESPIE AND NORTHAM TANGLE OVER TRUMP AND OTHER ISSUES

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam staked out sharply different positions on immigration, health care, Virginia’s economy and President Trump Saturday in their first debate since winning their respective party primaries for governor on June 13. Their differences started with Trump. Northam, Virginia’s lieutenant governor and a pediatrician, said he had no regrets about a TV ad in which he called the president a “narcissistic maniac,”



GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE BEGINS WITH DEBATE ON TRUMP

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

At the first gubernatorial debate of 2017, two names came up early on: Newport News Shipbuilding and Donald J. Trump. Briefly interrupted by a protester arguing that Democrat Ralph Northam should oppose a proposed gas pipeline crossing the state, a project Republican Ed Gillespie strongly supports, debate started with questions about what the two men thought of President Trump.



CANDIDATES FOR VIRGINIA GOVERNOR EMPLOY TRUMP AS A BAROMETER

By JONATHAN MARTIN, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam of Virginia on Saturday used the first debate of the state’s race for governor to assail President Trump as a liar and a “dangerous man.” Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee with deep roots in the party’s establishment, sought to strike a delicate balance when pressed about Mr. Trump, who is highly unpopular here.



MEET THE CANDIDATE FOR VA. GOVERNOR WHO WON’T BE ON THE DEBATE STAGE

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian Party candidate, met the state’s daunting hurdle for ballot access, collecting 10,000 signatures from across Virginia for the right to be listed on Election Day along with Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam. But he did not meet the Virginia Bar Association’s criteria for an invite to Saturday’s debate at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.



FAIRFAX, VOGEL RELEASE CAMPAIGN FINANCE FIGURES

By ONOFRIO CASTIGLIA, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax outpaced Republican nominee Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville, in fundraising during the most recent reporting period, though Vogel has collectively raised more this election cycle, according to officials’ state financial disclosures.



ATTORNEY GENERAL TALKS OPIOIDS IN WYTHEVILLE

By MARK SAGE, Wytheville Enterprise

The numbers don’t seem real, Attorney General Mark Herring said. But they are. Herring said that preliminary data show around 60,000 overdose deaths last year across the country with 1,100 of them in Virginia. Each one of those deaths, the Democrat said during a Thursday stop in Wytheville, was someone’s child, sibling, parent or friend.



TRANSGENDER CANDIDATE TAKES ON CULTURE WARRIOR IN VIRGINIA

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

She's a transgender woman and an experienced journalist who sings in a metal band in her spare time. He has sponsored some of the most socially conservative legislation in Virginia in the past 25 years, including a measure this year that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use. Democrat Danica Roem is challenging Republican Bob Marshall for his northern Virginia seat in the state House of Delegates.



IN HIS DAY JOB, HE GUARDS VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS. NOW HE WANTS TO BEAT ONE

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

For 12 years, Francis Stevens has kept a lookout for potential threats to public order at the epicenter of Virginia's state government. While on patrol or manning a post as a Capitol Police officer, he can't help but watch what the politicians he passes in the halls are doing. And what they aren't.



INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE DAVID BALL TO RUN FOR HOUSE OF DELEGATES

By MARGARET CARMEL , News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Buckingham County contractor David Ball has joined the crowded field in the race against Del. Matt Fariss, R-Rustburg, to represent the 59th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. Hailing from the far eastern end of the sprawling district that includes Appomattox, Buckingham, a large section of Campbell and parts of Nelson and Albemarle counties, Ball’s campaign centers on serving the needs of rural Virginians,

Federal Elections


DEMOCRATS PLAN TO ANNOUNCE THEIR 2018 CAMPAIGN AGENDA FROM A RUBY-RED CORNER OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

By JENNA PORTNOY AND ED O'KEEFE , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrats knew what they were doing when they chose this quaint town of mom-and-pop stores and historic homes for the soft launch of their new strategy to convince voters that they stand for something and not just against President Trump. It’s here that Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), plan to announce proposals on Monday designed to appeal to middle-class workers

State Government


NEW LAW THAT ENCOURAGES VOLUNTARY BACKGROUND CHECKS AT VA. GUN SHOWS IS YIELDING FEW TANGIBLE RESULTS

By MARK BOWES , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

During the first full year of the measure ending June 30, only 54 voluntary background checks were requested by private sellers of firearms or their customers at 77 gun shows across the state. And of those, only one prospective gun buyer was denied the purchase of a gun, and he was never charged with an offense.



VIRGINIA PREPARED TO LAUNCH LOCAL NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS TO STANCH RISING RATES OF HEPATITIS C

By KATIE O’CONNOR , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Dangerous infections are surging in Richmond and throughout Virginia as a wave of hepatitis C continues to spread alongside the opioid epidemic, and an HIV outbreak could be around the corner. But state officials are hoping to curb the rise in the deadly infections by swapping out injection drug users’ dirty needles for clean ones.

Congress


KAINE DEFENDS OBAMACARE AT ROANOKE COLLEGE

By TONIA MOXLEY , Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Democrats gathered Saturday morning at Roanoke College in 90-degree-plus heat to hear U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine fire up support for Obamacare and candidates for the November election. “I can’t wait to get back up to Washington on Monday for what I think will the battle of my first five years in the Senate,” Kaine said. “I’m not sure I’m ever going to cast a more momentous vote.”



KAINE TOURS HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY SERVICES CHILDREN’S CAMPUS

By JESS NOCERA , Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine stressed the importance of seeking advice from local health care experts to take back to Washington during a visit Friday to the Highlands Community Services Children’s Campus. Kaine toured the campus in Abingdon to learn about the mental health services and crisis intervention the facility provides to children in Washington County and Bristol, Virginia.



TWO ROANOKE LAWYERS RECOMMENDED FOR U.S. ATTORNEY JOB

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The names of two Roanoke attorneys have been sent to the White House for consideration as the next U.S. attorney for Western Virginia. Federal prosecutor Craig “Jake” Jacobsen and attorney Thomas Cullen were both recommended Friday by Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Under normal protocol, President Donald Trump would nominate a candidate who would then go to the Senate for confirmation. But it’s unclear if the Republican president will confine his choices to those submitted by the two Democratic senators.



CULLEN'S SON AMONG TWO THAT WARNER, KAINE RECOMMEND FOR TOP U.S. PROSECUTOR IN ROANOKE

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s Democratic U.S. senators are recommending to President Donald Trump two candidates for the top federal prosecutor’s job in Roanoke, one of whom is the son of Vice President Mike Pence's lawyer. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, in a letterFriday to Trump, propose that he nominate either Thomas Cullen or Craig “Jake” Jacobsen to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

Economy/Business


USS GERALD R. FORD OFFICIALLY JOINS NAVY WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP AT COMMISSIONING

By ISABEL DOBRIN , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

With President Donald Trump in attendance, the nation’s newest aircraft carrier joined the Navy fleet Saturday in front of thousands of people. About 10,000 spectators watched as Trump declared the USS Gerald R. Ford in commission at Naval Station Norfolk after calling the warship a “100,000-ton message to the world.”



USS GERALD R. FORD JOINS THE FLEET

By HUGH LESSIG, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Navy formally welcomed the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford into the fleet Saturday at Naval Station Norfolk, calling on the first-in-class ship to lead a new generation of American sea power. President Donald J. Trump placed the ship into commission, praising a crew that must master complex systems that still require work. He also singled out Newport News Shipbuilding, the exclusive builder of nuclear-powered carriers for the U.S. Navy.



TRUMP: USS FORD IS ‘100,000-TON MESSAGE TO THE WORLD’

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE , Associated Press

With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a “100,000-ton message to the world” about America’s military might when it is ultimately deployed.



VIRGINIA'S JOBLESS RATE FALLS TO 3.7 PERCENT IN JUNE - ITS LOWEST POINT SINCE APRIL 2008

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s unemployment rate declined in June to its lowest point since April 2008, as the state’s labor force expanded for the 15th straight month and hiring showed signs of acceleration. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in June, down from a rate of 3.8 percent for the previous three months, state officials reported Friday.



VIRGINIA'S BOOMING WILD-CAUGHT BLUE CATFISH INDUSTRY MAY WEAKEN UNDER FEDERAL REGULATION

By PAMELA A. D’ANGELO, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The new wild-caught, blue catfish industry is at risk because of tighter inspection rules set for full implementation by the USDA on Sept. 1. It will be the only fish to come under USDA inspection.

Transportation


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO REPLACE OBAMA-ERA PICKS ON METRO BOARD

By FAIZ SIDDIQUI, MARTINE POWERS AND RACHEL SIEGEL , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The incoming members — whose names could not be learned Sunday — will take the place of Carol Carmody and David L. Strickland, the federal government’s voting representatives on Metro’s board of directors, according to multiple board members with knowledge of the decision.



VDOT TO CONDUCT TESTS OF HIGHWAY THAT PASSES OVER NATURAL BRIDGE

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

State highway officials will peer beneath a portion of U.S. 11 that crosses Natural Bridge using ground penetrating radar — tests that could shed light on how well the limestone formation has held up to traffic passing over its arch.



AIRPORT PROMISED, BUT NEVER ASKED FOR, BIG LOCAL SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL GRANT

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport applied for the federal money that later briefly launched People Express Airlines, then-Executive Director Ken Spirito promised a major local financial support — but without asking any of the bodies that would provide it. Spirito promised the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program that the airport and the local community were "ready and willing to invest $1.6 million" to match the $2 million he sought from Washington in 2012.



SVRA LOOKS TO DUMP VIAAIR

By VIC BRADSHAW, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

A letter sent Friday on behalf of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission to the U.S. Department of Transportation asks the federal agency to dump ViaAir as the local airport’s carrier because of persistent reliability issues and find another regional airline that can provide consistent service.

Virginia Other


WHEN HEALTH LAW ISN’T ENOUGH, THE DESPERATE LINE UP AT TENTS

By TRIP GABRIEL, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As the sun set in the mountains of southwest Virginia, hundreds of hurting souls were camped out or huddled in vehicles, eager for an early place in line when the gates swung open at 5 a.m. for the nation’s largest pop-up free clinic.



'HEARTBREAKING' NEED: THOUSANDS ATTEND FREE HEALTH CLINIC IN WISE

By REECE RISTAU, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Fanice Bowman waited nearly a decade for a new set of teeth. After just an hour of dental work Friday at the Remote Area Medical clinic at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Bowman, who said she is retired and disabled, showed off her pearly white dentures, for which she had been “hoping and praying.”



THOUSANDS FLOCK TO FREE MEDICAL CLINIC, AS WASHINGTON DITHERS ON HEALTH CARE

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The sick and the disabled pour out of these mountains every summer for their one shot at free health care, but this year was supposed to hold hope for a better solution. Donald Trump won the White House in part on a promise to fix the nation’s costly and inefficient health-care system. Instead, Republicans in Congress are paralyzed and threatening to dismantle the imperfect framework of Obamacare. No relief is in sight for someone like Larry McKnight, who sat in a horse stall at the Wise County Fairgrounds having his shoulder examined.



REMOTE AREA MEDICAL CLINIC FOUNDER: 'TRUMP REALLY NEEDED TO BE HERE'

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Tammy Duncan sported a toothless grin as she slid out of the dental chair minutes after an oral surgeon cut away portions of her jaw. Numbing agents mitigated what could have been an immensely painful experience, but finally receiving direly needed dental care — in her case, surgery to accommodate the fitting of dentures — was the true source of her bliss.



PIPELINE CLEARS REGULATORY HURDLE

By ROBERT ZULLO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline spearheaded by Dominion Energy, which will run from West Virginia through rural Virginia into North Carolina, would result in "some adverse effects" on steep slopes, water bodies, vegetation and habitat for endangered bats, mussels, fish and other species along the route. However, the final Environmental Impact Statement, released Friday, adds that "most, but not all of these impacts, would be reduced to less-than-significant levels" as a result of the developers' proposed mitigation measures



RELEASE OF FINAL ANALYSIS PAVES WAY FOR DECISION ON PROPOSED ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE

By EMILY BROWN, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A final environmental impact statement released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday says the proposed 600-mile pipeline “would result in some adverse effects,” but most would be reduced to “less-than-significant levels” following implementation of commission recommendations and mitigation measures from the project’s partners.



ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE REVIEW FINDS ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, SAYS MOST CAN BE REDUCED

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water resources, forest and other habitats, an assessment by federal regulators found. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate natural gas pipelines, released its final environmental impact statement Friday for the proposed 600-mile pipeline, which has broad support from political and business leaders but is staunchly opposed by environmentalists and many affected landowners.



FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT ON PIPELINE RELEASED

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

The statement, released by The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday, says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project's effects “would be reduced to less-than-significant’’ levels should both the project mitigation measures offered by the pipeline builders and recommendations from FERC followed.



FOREST SERVICE ISSUES DRAFT DECISION TO OK USE OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LANDS FOR PIPELINE

By EMILY BROWN, Nelson County Times

The draft decision, jointly issued by the U.S. Forest Service’s Eastern and Southern Regional Foresters, would allow the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to construct and operate 21 miles of the route that would cross the Monongahela National Forest and George Washington National Forest.



SCIENTISTS USED COAL ASH TO BUILD OYSTER REEFS OFF THE EASTERN SHORE. HOW IS THE PROJECT HOLDING UP?

By KATHERINE HAFNER , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In the early 1990s Virginia Power was churning out almost 175,000 tons of coal ash each year in Chesapeake and needed a way to recycle it. The company, now Dominion Energy, would soon discover plenty of ways: Fly ash helped build Harbor Park, the Suffolk Bypass and parts of the Chesapeake Expressway. But in 1994, a Virginia Power engineer approached some scientists with a different idea: using coal ash to build artificial oyster reefs.

Local


LOUDOUN COUNTY SAYS NO TO REGIONAL METRO SALES TAX

By SYDNEY KASHIWAGI, Loudoun Times

Loudoun County will oppose a one-cent regional sales tax for the region’s troubled Metro system. The Board of Supervisors on Thursday voted unanimously on a formal resolution brought forth by western Loudoun Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) expressing the county’s opposition to the plan proposed by a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) panel.



WITH ONLY $14 MILLION IN HAND, SCHOOL LEADERS AREN'T SURE HOW TO START BUILDING A BETTER DISTRICT

By K. BURNELL EVANS , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Across the nearly century-old hall from the boiler room that keeps interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz up at night, three smiling children painted onto a bulletin board wave from a field of flowers. “When You Enter … You Are The Reason I’m Here!,” reads the door to an adjacent art room in the low-slung home of the George Mason Elementary School Jaguars.



ANTI-DISCRIMINATION GROUPS SAY MORE MINORITY TEACHERS NEEDED IN RICHMOND REGION

By MICHAEL O’CONNOR , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Anti-discrimination groups across the region say there are not enough minority teachers and administrators. Representatives from local chapters of the NAACP in Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties said that working to get more minority candidates hired in the schools is one of their priorities.



RESIDENTS IN SOUTHERN CHESAPEAKE LEARN MORE ABOUT PROPOSED JOINT JUVENILE JUSTICE CENTER

By VICTORIA BOURNE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Safety, noise and property values were among the concerns broached by residents during an open house Thursday about a proposed juvenile justice center. Mitch MacWilliams owns property adjacent to 920 Minuteman Drive in southern Chesapeake, one of the two sites being considered for the facility that would be part youth jail, part state prison. He says such a facility was not in his retirement plans when he envisioned sitting in the backyard with his grandchildren around a campfire.

TV/Radio


NEW SOLAR FARM IN MIDDLESEX WILL PROVIDE POWER TO UVA

By JOHN OGLE, WCVE

The University of Virginia has signed a 25 year agreement with Dominion Energy to buy the entire electrical output of a new solar farm to be built in Middlesex County. The University acquired the 120 acre site from Charlottesville based solar development company Coronal Energy and it will be called the UVa Puller Solar Facility.

Online News


GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES RELEASE NEW POLICIES

By AMY POULTER, Southside Daily

Republican candidate Ed Gillespie has rolled out two plans – one addressing mental health and substance abuse, another geared to military members, veterans and their families – while Democrat candidate Ralph Northam set his sights on Virginia’s economy.


Today's Sponsor:

Virginia Private College Week (July 24-29)

Virginia's private colleges invite families to explore our campuses, visit admissions and financial aid representatives, and learn about our exceptional academic and extracurricular opportunities. www.vaprivatecolleges.org

Editorials


HEALTH CARE REFORM MUST NOT STOP HERE

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Where the federal government goes from here on health care reform is anybody’s guess. But how it got to where it is today is plain for all to see: partisan politics. For the past seven years, congressional Republicans have promised that given the opportunity, they would do away with former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and replace it with something preferable of their own.



HYDRA NEEDS TO BE ALLOWED TO DEBATE

Martinsville Bulletin Editorial

When voters attend the polls in November to select the next governor of Virginia, there will be a third name on the ballot: Cliff Hyra. Hyra is running for governor as a Libertarian candidate, but for the purposes of this editorial, he could be running for the Whig Party, or the American Vegetarian Party, or the Pan-Galactic Martian Party. This is not an editorial about Hyra’s policies, nor is it an endorsement or condemnation of them.



MAGGIE WALKER, JEFFERSON AND LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE

News & Advance Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The two stories seemingly have no connection — Poplar Forest’s Slave Dwelling Project and the erection over last weekend in Richmond of a statue honoring pioneering black businesswoman Maggie Walker — but they do, especially in these times when statues of Confederate generals are all in the news. The lesson? Simple. All of us has much to learn from each other.



RURAL VIRGINIA BLEEDS; DOES THE STATE CARE?

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Last week, Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, released his economic plan for rural Virginia. Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate, didn’t have much to offer in the way of criticism. After all, the key part of the plan — to waive the first two years of certain taxes for new businesses that open in rural areas — is really the kind of idea that Republicans normally like.



GILLESPIE'S NONSENSICAL REMARKS ON TRANSPORTATION BILL

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

THERE’S A common adage in politics that voters only turn their attention to general election races after Labor Day, the traditional end of the summer. The thinking goes that once vacations are over and the kids are back in school, citizens are more receptive to a campaign, such as this year’s gubernatorial race. So most Virginians may have overlooked remarks made by Republican Ed Gillespie recently which appeared to question the landmark 2013 transportation deal, the first substantive action on the issue in about two decades.



COREY STEWART OR GEORGE WASHINGTON: CAN YOU GUESS WHO SAID THIS?

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Corey Stewart, the Prince William supervisor who came within a whisker of beating Ed Gillespie for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Tim Kaine. People have compared Stewart to several famous American figures: Donald Trump, David Duke, the guy at the end of the bar who’s had a few too many, etc. But we think the famous American whom Stewart most resembles is George Washington. In fact, the resemblance between what Stewart says these days and what Washington said in his day is so strong it is almost uncanny.



IS 'RUTHLESS' A RECIPE FOR VICTORY IN VIRGINIA?

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Give Corey Stewart credit. He is an equal opportunity abuser. The Prince William Republican, who barely lost out in his bid to get his party’s nomination for governor, has insults and threats available for both fellow GOP member Ed Gillespie and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine. Recently, he suggested to The Washington Post that Gillespie, who beat him in the primary, should “maybe take some testosterone supplements” and start “beating the hell out of” Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, the Democratic candidate.



FOR A CHANGE, THERE'S REAL COMPETITION IN VIRGINIA HOUSE RACES THIS YEAR

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Election Day is more than three months away, but we’re already seeing some very encouraging returns. In addition to the statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, Virginia voters also will be choosing all 100 members of the House of Delegates when they head to the polls on Nov. 7. And this year, they’ll have a lot more candidates to choose from



MITCH MCCONNELL IGNORED US AGAIN

Bristol Herald Courier Editorial (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Confrontation with those affected by your actions isn’t easy. Just ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He chose to disregard them entirely. On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe invited McConnell via letter and Twitter to encounter firsthand the root of those who would be further disadvantaged if the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the effort led by McConnell, passed in its current revision.



HERE'S ANOTHER WAY NORTH CAROLINA IS OUT-HUSTLING VIRGINIA

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Bob Crumley is on the other end of the line, talking up the virtues of hemp. North Carolina’s top hemp advocate talks about how this genetic offshoot of marijuana is such a versatile crop that farmers can make money three ways off the same plant — the seeds can be used for food, the pods for nutritional supplements, the stalks used for fiber. “It’s a no-brainer thing for farmers,” he says.



FOUNDATION OF OUR FREEDOM

Daily Press Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Our Founding Fathers considered a free press so instrinsic to the democratic ideal that they wrote it into the very first amendment of the document that launched our nation. Thomas Jefferson wrote that "the only security of all is in a free press." Subsequent statesmen have had their ups and downs with the fourth estate, but have always understood and respected the need for a truly independent media. President Donald Trump, as he so often does, stands as an exception — and the tone he chooses to set in the Oval Office poses a clear threat not only to the press, but to American citizens in general.



SUMMER SILLINESS IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Most people have better things to do in the summer than pay attention to this fall’s governor’s race. Good for you. There are tomatoes to be picked, beaches to be visited, ball games to be watched.

Columnists


SCHAPIRO: LIKE FATHER, KIND OF LIKE SON

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Tim Kaine apparently forgives and forgets. Quietly — because some traditions of the U.S. Senate still demand it — Kaine and his fellow Democrat, Mark Warner, are recommending to President Donald Trump two candidates for a prized federal prosecutor’s job in Roanoke. One prospect’s name is synonymous with the intersection of law and politics: Cullen



RESS: WITH ELECTION IN SIGHT, LAWMAKERS RAKE IN DONATIONS

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Ah, June. Summer comes and what's more natural than for a Virginia legislator's thoughts, especially in an odd-numbered year, to turn to ... money. Spring and summer of an election year are when candidates concentrate on fundraising, and the new round of campaign finance reports show they've been concentrating. Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, raised a cool $51,415 in June, bringing his warchest for his re-election bid to $218,487. He's the Peninsula's top fundraiser

Op-Ed


VECCHIONE AND MULVEY: GREENTECH AUTOMOTIVE, TERRY MCAULIFFE, AND CRONY CAPITALISM

By JOHN J. VECCHIONE AND RYAN MULVEY, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A politically connected “green energy” vehicle company that never delivered on its promises is finally being taken to task. A state auditor in Mississippi is demanding GreenTech Automotive repay its public loans after taxpayers were taken for a proverbial ride — though certainly not in one of the company’s elusive vehicles.

John J. Vecchione is president and Ryan P. Mulvey is counsel at Cause of Action Institute, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit oversight group



BYRON: CREDENTIALS OFFER A PATH TO THE MIDDLE CLASS

By KATHY BYRON, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In the classic 1967 film “The Graduate,” Mr. McGuire famously gives Ben this piece of career advice: “I want to say one word to you … just one word: plastics.” That was 50 years ago. Yet, my advice to people looking for a good job today would also be one word: credentials. Industry-recognized credentials are earned when a person passes a competency test certifying he or she has the skills necessary to succeed in a certain profession.

Kathy Byron represents the 22nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates and serves on the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.



ROSSI AND UNGVARSKY: GOV. MCAULIFFE MADE AN IRREVERSIBLE MISTAKE

By GENE ROSSI AND EDWARD J. UNGVARSKY, Published in the Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

William Charles Morva was put to death because our legal system failed him. When Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) denied Morva clemency on July 6, he apparently misunderstood the facts about Morva’s mental illness and squandered an opportunity for compassion.

Gene Rossi is a retired Justice Department prosecutor. Edward J. Ungvarsky is a career public defender based in Vienna who represents defendants prosecuted in Virginia on capital murder charges.



KILGORE: IT IS TIME TO TAKE A GAMBLE IN VIRGINIA'S POOREST JURISDICTIONS

By FRANK KILGORE, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Many individuals and well-meaning organizations oppose gambling as a job creating resource but for all the downsides that may be cited there are few things more degrading and stressful than the lack of jobs and hope. Such poverty manifests itself into increased domestic violence, broken families, drug use, mass incarcerations and cyclical generations of children whose options in life are limited from birth.

Frank Kilgore is an attorney, author and community activist in St. Paul, a coalfield river town in the process of repurposing itself through eco-tourism, higher ed and downtown revitalization.



KLINE: THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S DISMAL FORECAST FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

By STEVE KLINE, Published in the Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As I write this, clean-water advocates look with worry to Washington, where the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency has announced the process for repealing and replacing a rule meant to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act. For the sake of the Chesapeake Bay, the Clean Water Rule is one Obama-era action that President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should think about keeping.

The writer, a seventh-generation Marylander who lives on the Eastern Shore, is director of government relations for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.



BRAT: TAX REFORM IS THE KEY TO RENEWING THE AMERICAN SPIRIT

By DAVE BRAT, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The United States has the world’s largest and most diverse economy, built and powered by the indomitable American entrepreneurial spirit. Why don’t we have the world’s best, most economically competitive tax code? The last meaningful reform to the IRS code was 31 years ago, but now there is the opportunity to pass real tax reform that encourages economic growth and creates more jobs and higher wages.

Dave Brat, a Republican, represents Virginia’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.



MCEACHIN: SCHOOL DISCIPLINE DISPARITIES REQUIRE MORE ATTENTION, NOT LESS

By A. DONALD MCEACHIN, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

My mother, a special education teacher, taught me that public schools have a responsibility to lift up all of our children and provide them with the tools to succeed. No exceptions. Every student deserves to receive a great education from great teachers in a supportive environment — regardless of that student’s race, family income, background, special needs, or other traits.

A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat, represents Virginia’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.