VaNews

Wednesday July 27, 2016

Compiled by Ray Reed


Executive Branch

VIRGINIA GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE VOWS TO OUTFLANK RULING ON FELONS' RIGHTS

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) stood before Democrats gathered at their party's national convention Monday and promised to individually restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands of felons within the next two weeks. McAuliffe vowed to use an autopen to sign the orders, sidestepping a recent court ruling that invalidated the step he took in April to restore the rights of about 200,000 felons en masse.


MADE TO FEEL ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO VOTE’

By TONY BROWN, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

Ryan Kirby calls it “the Cracker Barrel effect.” Kirby, 34, owns his home, pays his taxes, just earned a degree in justice administration at Blue Ridge Community College, works 12-hour swing shifts at a local manufacturer, and is deeply disappointed that many of his fellow Republicans appear to not want him to vote come November.


FAIRFAX OFFICIALS ASK MCAULIFFE FOR MORE SCHOOL DOLLARS AMID STRUGGLING ECONOMY

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post

Virginia’s tepid economy is hampering efforts in the state’s largest school system to give public school teachers the salary increases they have been demanding for years, officials said Tuesday. In a letter to be sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) this week, Fairfax County leaders expressed concern about projections that state funding to the county will fall $4.4 million short of the $16.8 million expected for teacher salaries — a small but key component in what were bitter budget negotiations with county school officials this year.


ANNE HOLTON RESIGNS AS MCAULIFFE'S EDUCATION SECRETARY

By TRAVIS FAIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Anne Holton, the wife of newly named vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine, has stepped away from her job as Gov. Terry McAuliffe's secretary of education to focus on the campaign, the governor's office announced Tuesday. Holton's resignation was effective Monday. Deputy Secretary of Education Dietra Trent moved into her old role, the governor said in a news release.


ANNE HOLTON LEAVES JOB AS VA. EDUCATION SECRETARY TO FOCUS ON HUSBAND'S CAMPAIGN

By PATRICK WILSON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Anne Holton, Virginia’s secretary of education and wife of Sen. Tim Kaine, stepped down from her cabinet post Monday to focus on her husband’s campaign as Hillary Clinton’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office released a statement quoting the governor saying Holton helped increase spending on K-12 and higher education and helped make changes to the state’s Standards of Learning tests.


ANNE HOLTON, WIFE OF TIM KAINE, STEPS DOWN AS VA. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

By LOUIS LLOVIO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Dietra Trent was named Virginia’s new secretary of education on Tuesday after Anne Holton stepped down to focus on her husband Tim Kaine’s campaign for vice president. Trent, who was deputy secretary, took over immediately.


ANNE HOLTON, WIFE OF CLINTON’S RUNNING MATE, RESIGNS AS VA.’S EDUCATION SECRETARY

By MORIAH BALINGIT, Washington Post

Anne Holton has stepped down as Virginia’s education secretary following the selection of her husband, Sen. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.), as Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Clinton announced Friday that Kaine, former mayor of Richmond and former governor of Virginia, would join her presidential campaign as her vice-presidential choice. In her announcement, Clinton praised Holton’s work in Virginia.

McDonnell Case

HOWELL, NORMENT ASK DOJ TO DISMISS CASE AGAINST BOB MCDONNELL

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia Speaker of the House William J. Howell, R-Stafford, and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss the corruption case against former Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Following last month’s unanimous decision by the United States Supreme Court reversing his conviction, we believe no prosecutable case now exists against Governor McDonnell,” they wrote in the July 22 letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, which the speaker’s office released to the media on Tuesday.


HOWELL URGES FEDS TO DROP CASE AGAINST MCDONNELL

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star

House Speaker Bill Howell has formally asked the U.S. Department of Justice to drop its case against Bob McDonnell after the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the former Virginia governor’s corruption convictions. Howell, R–Stafford County, and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, R–James City County, made the request Friday in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, writing that Virginians “would be best served by closing this chapter in our history.”


GOP LEADERS URGE FEDS TO DISMISS FORMER VIRGINIA GOV'S CASE

Associated Press

Top Virginia Republicans have asked the Justice Department to stop trying to convict former Gov. Bob McDonnell of corruption. House Speaker William Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment said in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Friday that prosecuting McDonnell again will "unnecessarily disrupt" the state and be costly to taxpayers.

State Elections

RULING ON FELON VOTING RIGHTS MAY BOLSTER BELL IN ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE

By LAURA VOZZELLA , Washington Post

Republicans said Gov. Terry McAuliffe was trying to help Hillary Clinton, a friend and fellow Democrat, win the crucial swing state of Virginia when he issued a sweeping order to restore voting rights to nearly 200,000 felons. Now that the state Supreme Court has declared that order unconstitutional, some Republicans think the restoration-of-rights episode could shape yet another political contest: the 2017 race for Virginia attorney general. Allies of Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, say he played a leading, behind-the-scenes role in the legal challenge to McAuliffe and a related public-relations campaign that exposed a series of flaws related to the order.

Federal Elections

GOV. MCAULIFFE IS FIRST TO SAY HILLARY CLINTON WON THE PARTY'S PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION

By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe made sure his speech Tuesday night came at precisely the right time at the Democratic National Convention. When the delegations agreed by acclamation at 6:55 p.m. to choose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee, it was no coincidence that McAuliffe was the next speaker at Wells Fargo Center.


IN SPEECH TO CONVENTION, TERRY MCAULIFFE HAILS HILLARY CLINTON'S HISTORIC NOMINATION

By JIM NOLAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

He remembers her playing mermaid in the pool with his youngest daughter for hours on family vacations. She was the first to call and congratulate their son, Jack, when he began a career in the Marine Corps. And she and her husband, Bill, traveled through a blizzard to attend his father’s funeral.


MCAULIFFE ON ANOTHER SIDE OF HILLARY CLINTON: SHE PLAYED MERMAID IN THE POOL

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post

PHILADELPHIA - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe realized a goal he’s had since he chaired his friend Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid when he announced Tuesday that she had clinched the nomination as the first woman presidential candidate of a major political party. “This is an extraordinary day!” he told the packed arena. “It’s a day that will change the political history of our country. It is the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another.


TERRY MCAULIFFE'S TPP COMMENTS DO CLINTON NO FAVORS

By EVAN HALPER, Los Angeles Times

Hillary Clinton’s longtime friend Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia and a prolific fundraiser for Democrats, just made her difficult job of pulling the Democratic Party together even tougher. As Clinton assures restive Bernie Sanders voters that they can trust her to fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal that Sanders helped galvanize a large share of the electorate against, McAuliffe just gave them good reason to doubt her.


VIRGINIA HOTEL PUSHES BACK ON TRUMP’S AIR-CONDITIONING COMPLAINT

By JOSE A. DELREAL, Washington Post

The staff of a Virginia hotel where Donald Trump hosted an event Monday has pushed back against criticism by the candidate, who at one point suggested he might not pay the venue for its space because of lackluster air conditioning. Eager Trump supporters braved 100-degree heat for hours as they waited to enter the hotel for the event, finding some respite in the ballroom where Trump spoke for approximately 45 minutes.

Kaine Nomination

TIM KAINE, CRITICIZED AS A CENTRIST, LEANS LEFT ON SOCIAL ISSUES

By KRISTINA PETERSON AND JANET HOOK, Wall Street Journal (Paywall)

When Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, takes the stage at the Democratic convention on Wednesday night, the Virginia Democrat will face skeptics who had pressed their presidential nominee to pick a running mate from the party’s growing liberal ranks. While Mr. Kaine has a more centrist record on economic issues and trade, his political ideology on social issues is often further to the left than his critics suggest, and he is a rare politician from a Southern state who has directly opposed the National Rifle Association.


WHY TIM KAINE CAN OPPOSE ABORTION AND STILL RUN WITH HILLARY CLINTON

By DANIELLE PAQUETTE, Washington Post

Eleven years ago, as he ran for governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine made clear his stance on abortion: “I have a faith-based opposition,” he wrote on his campaign’s website. “I will work in good faith to reduce abortions.” Kaine went on to laud adoption as the best solution to an unwanted pregnancy. He promoted abstinence-only sex education (and later slashed funding to the program, citing research that found it wasn’t effective). He authorized the sale of “Choose Life” license plates to fund religious counseling clinics that discouraged abortion.


FOR DEFENSE INTERESTS, KAINE AS VP IS TRADE-OFF

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

The Hampton Roads defense community lost an influential supporter with the June defeat of Rep. Randy Forbes. Now another military-minded lawmaker might depart, but only if voters kick him upstairs. And that's not so bad, officials say. Sen. Tim Kaine holds a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a post he'll vacate if the Clinton-Kaine ticket wins in November. That would be a "loss" for the Virginia delegation — sort of.


CLINTON CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO MAKE MOST OF KAINE'S SPANISH

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS AND AMY TAXIN, Associated Press

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is fluent in Spanish, and moved easily between languages when he spoke at his first campaign event with his Democratic running mate Hillary Clinton. Some Latinos say there's a practical value to Kaine's skills because they allow the vice presidential candidate to communicate more directly with the nation's immigrant communities. But they add the days are gone when that alone is enough to win over Hispanic voters.


KAINE ADDS TO VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S POTENTIAL WHITE HOUSE TIES

By ALAN SUDERMAN AND LISA LERER, Associated Press

Soon after Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine accepted Hillary Clinton's offer to be her running mate, he called Terry McAuliffe to say thanks. Kaine had good reason to be grateful: it's likely that no one lobbied as hard for Kaine to get the job as the colorful former fundraiser and Clinton pal turned Virginia governor. And with one friend at the top of the ticket and another as her running mate, McAuliffe could find himself with two direct lines to the White House should the Clinton-Kaine ticket win on Election Day.


AMID BIG WEEK, KAINE STICKS TO ROUTINE WITH VISIT TO RICHMOND DINER

By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Tim Kaine started his day Tuesday by hugging waitresses and sliding into a booth with friends at his usual Richmond breakfast spot. Kaine stopped by City Diner on Broad Street before heading to the Democratic National Convention. The U.S. senator, a former Richmond mayor and Virginia governor, is scheduled to give a speech Wednesday as Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick.


TIM KAINE LEAVES RICHMOND, EN ROUTE FOR OZ

By JIM NOLAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Tim Kaine, the vice presidential candidate next door, pulled away from his house on Confederate Avenue in Richmond Tuesday morning for the trip north to his future life – and nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia - and a song popped into his head: “We just pulled away from the house and I broke into 'We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz,' ” the U.S. senator from Virginia and former Richmond mayor recounted in a telephone interview.

Congress

CHANGE IS NEEDED IN MODERN AMERICAN CAPITALISM, VIRGINIA SEN. MARK WARNER SAYS

By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia pressed his message Tuesday morning that fundamental changes are needed in the country’s social safety net to protect and reward workers. Warner, who backed nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, spoke at the morning breakfast of Virginia’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention. He praised the Monday night speech of defeated candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for focusing on the need for economic reforms.


GOODLATTE TO LEAD BIPARTISAN GROUP ON POLICING CHALLENGES

By CLARISSA COOPER, News Leader (Metered Pay Wall)

Congressman Bob Goodlatte spoke at the Kiwanis Club of Staunton luncheon on Monday, highlighting his work on police relations with communities, national security and more before heading out to meet with Donald Trump and Mike Pence in Roanoke. Goodlatte is running for re-election, and said his platform will focus on issues such as police and community relations, healthcare, national security and efforts to grow the national economy.


COMSTOCK TOURS SCIENCE MANUFACTURER

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock, R-10th, toured Thermo Fisher Scientific clinical diagnostics facility just south of Middletown on Monday afternoon. The company completed a 30,000-square-foot expansion of its facility in spring 2015 — an undertaking that cost $10 million.

Economy/Business

REORGANIZED ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES EMERGES FROM BANKRUPTCY

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier

Alpha Natural Resources and its affiliates announced today that the company has successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The reorganized company is a smaller, privately held company operating 18 mines and eight preparation plants in West Virginia and Kentucky, according to a written statement.


ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES EMERGES FROM BANKRUPTCY

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources and its affiliates announced Tuesday that the company has successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The reorganized company is a smaller, privately held company operating 18 mines and eight plants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources filed for Chapter 11 last August. It bought Richmond-based Massey Energy Co. for $7.1 billion in 2011, making it the biggest U.S. producer of metallurgical coal, used in steelmaking — and steeped it in debt — before prices began to plunge.


HUNTINGTON INGALLS AWARDED $195M TOWARD CARRIER OVERHAUL

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

The Navy has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries nearly $195 million to continue advance work toward the mid-life overhaul of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. The overhaul will be performed at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding division. The George Washington is currently at Naval Station Norfolk. Among other work, the award establishes the labor requirement for engineering "in support of Fukushima remediation," according to the contract language.

Transportation

METRO GENERAL MANAGER PROPOSES END TO LATE-NIGHT SERVICE

By MARTINE POWERS, FAIZ SIDDIQUI AND LORI ARATANI, Washington Post

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld will propose a permanent end to late-night weekend subway service, alarming District officials and business leaders who say that a curtailed system would hurt economic and cultural life in the nation’s capital. Wiedefeld wants to shutter Metro at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, instead of at 3 a.m., to give overnight work crews enough time to make repairs and maintain a safe system. He also wants to close the subway at 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Virginia Other

SEA LEVEL REPORTS PREDICT PROBLEMS FOR HAMPTON ROADS MILITARY INSTALLATIONS

By JOANNE KIMBERLIN , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

The latest scientific conclusion echoes others: It’s likely that sea level rise will eventually swallow huge swaths of Hampton Roads’ military installations, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists in a report scheduled for release today. But if congressional Republicans have their way, the military will be blocked from doing anything about it.


HAMPTON ROADS MILITARY BASES BRACE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, SEA-LEVEL RISE

By ALI ROCKETT, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

When Hurricane Isabel raged through Hampton Roads in 2003, tidal levels rose 7.9 feet, putting most of Langley Air Force Base underwater. As the waters receded, the damage was immense. Two hundred facilities on the base were affected. Recovery efforts cost $166 million. Every major storm since has done less damage,


DOMINION TAKING MORE MITIGATION STEPS AT CHISMAN CREEK

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

Three decades ago, the discolored water coming out of wells along Wolf Trap turned into a headache for Dominion Virginia Power. And though homes near the site are now hooked into a public water system — at Dominion's expense — and though the company spent millions more to clean up the site, it is still dealing with what chemists found when they asked why a York County resident's drinking water was green: a rare metal called vanadium


TRANSGENDER TEEN ASKS COURT NOT TO BAR HIM FROM RESTROOM

Associated Press

An attorney for a transgender teen in Virginia is urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to bar him from using the boys restroom when he returns to school this fall. In a brief filed Tuesday in the high court, Josh Block of the American Civil Liberties Union says the Gloucester County School Board has failed to show that it will be irreparably harmed by allowing Gavin Grimm to use the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity while his case plays out in lower courts.


D.C. MAYOR PUSHES STATEHOOD ISSUE AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

By AARON C. DAVIS, Washington Post

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, speaking Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, confidently predicted victory — and soon — in the District’s four-decade fight for statehood. Bowser used the few moments she was allotted to address the convention to publicly demand greater support for the cause from fellow Democrats.

Local

RICHMOND MAYORAL CANDIDATES TRADE JABS OVER STONE BREWING DEAL AT TOWN HALL

By NED OLIVER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Richmond mayoral candidates traded jabs over the economic development deal that brought Stone Brewing Co. to the city during a town hall at Fourth Baptist Church on Tuesday. Former Del. Joseph D. Morrissey kicked things off, criticizing former Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney for the governor’s support of the deal.


SCHOOL STAFF PAY RAISES SAFE DESPITE MISSED VA. REVENUE SHORTFALL

By AARON RICHARDSON, Daily Progress

Missed state revenue targets could mean the Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools lose state money to support teacher and staff raises both divisions adopted for the current-year budget — but officials say raises will happen as promised anyway. Revenues fell $266 million short of forecasted growth, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The state collected $18 billion in revenue this year, representing 1.7 percent general fund growth. Projected growth was 3.2 percent, the release said.


PORTSMOUTH SOCIAL SERVICES WANTS TO CHARGE HOMELESS NONPROFIT RENT FOR FIRST TIME IN DECADES

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

A nonprofit that helps the homeless and has shared space rent-free with the Portsmouth Department of Social Services since the mid-1980s has been told it will have to start paying rent by Aug. 1 or move out. Annie White-Guertin, executive director of Portsmouth Area Resources Coalition Inc., confirmed her group was told it would need to pay for the space its two employees occupy on 1701 High St.


Editorials

VOTING RIGHTS RESTORIATION

Winchester Star Editorial (Subscription Required)

The end of last week brought a flurry of political news as politicos in the Commonwealth of Virginia watched with interest to see whether Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would pick one of Virginia’s own, Sen. Tim Kaine, as her running mate. ... But briefly lost in that story was another important development here at home involving Gov. Terry McAuliffe. On Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court struck down Gov. McAuliffe’s executive order from this spring that restored the rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons with the stroke of a pen.


VIRGINIA’S VOTING RIGHTS DEBACLE

Washington Post Editorial

The Virginia Supreme Court ruling that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) overstepped his powers in restoring voting rights to 206,000 felons who have completed their sentences is a model of pretzel-twisted reasoning that glosses over the plain language of the state’s constitution and elides recent state history to arrive at a conclusion whose effects are as heedless of national trends as they are racially retrograde.


VOTING ISSUE: RIGHT GOAL, WRONG TACTIC

Daily Progress Editorial

Rights were restored when Gov. Terry McAuliffe last spring issued an executive order giving back the ability to vote to more than 200,000 ex-offenders. Right was restored when the Virginia Supreme Court ruled last week, in a 4-3 split, that the mass order was improper.

Columnists

DOUGHERTY: TIM KAINE OWES VIRGINIANS AN ANSWER

By KERRY DOUGHERTY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

I hate to be the one to rain – or even sprinkle – all over the merry Tim Kaine parade. But someone has to. It’s time to shake off the he’s-so-much-nicer-than-Hillary-and-he-speaks-Spanish euphoria to ask Kaine to explain his conduct during his final days in Virginia’s governor’s mansion. The issue concerns a convicted murderer serving life in prison and Kaine’s last-minute move to quietly spring him.


SCHAPIRO: MARK WARNER, WHO ONCE EYED THE WHITE HOUSE, SAYS HE'S HAPPY FOR TIM KAINE

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

This was supposed to be the wind-down of a Mark Warner presidency. Instead, it’s the run-up to a possible Tim Kaine vice presidency. Warner, Virginia’s senior U.S. senator, briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2006, after Kaine, his lieutenant governor and Harvard Law School classmate, succeeded him as governor.


CHESLEY: JUSTICES' SMACKDOWN OF MCAULIFFE ISN'T FINAL WORD

By ROGER CHESLEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

I hesitated to call Patricia Skinner on Monday. I didn’t want to further muddle a confusing situation. Skinner, a former felon-turned-health care worker, served 2½ years behind bars for drug trafficking more than a decade ago. But the Norfolk woman got back her right to vote after Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s sweeping executive order restored the privilege to 206,000 people in April.

Op-Ed

WOLFE: COSTLY LOAN FORGIVENESS AMENDMENT WILL BURDEN UNIVERSITIES

By LIZ WOLFE, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The Department of Education is pushing a loan forgiveness amendment to federal student loan policy that would relieve students of their debt if they could make the case that the school “substantially misrepresented” the education received. This new policy would have vast financial implications, is poorly thought-out, and is unlikely to be adjudicated properly.