A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - September 2, 2014
Today's Sponsor: Ann B. Wheeler
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Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has set the most ambitious goal in the state's history for doing business with small firms and those owned by women and minorities. He recently signed an order setting a target of 42 percent for the share of state contract money awarded to such businesses. Since fiscal 2007, according to state records, the highest proportion awarded to small, women-owned and minority-owned, or SWAM, businesses was 41.9 percent in fiscal 2009.
A Virginia commission that invests money from a national tobacco settlement gave $21 million to an economic development group and a telephone cooperative run by family members of the commission’s powerful chairman, according to a review of grants by The Associated Press. While not illegal, the grants are part of a rocky history of questionable spending by the Virginia Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which currently controls about $600 million in cash and investments.
The biggest trial in Virginia political history has turned, at times, on almost trite tales of marital dysfunction. Like the one about the busy husband, content with off-the-rack suits and slippers bound by duct tape, who watches his wife waltz in with two shopping bags and never dreams they could contain clothing worth $20,000. With erratic wife, straight-man husband and seemingly retro spousal politics, United States of America v. Robert F. McDonnell and Maureen G. McDonnell has at times had the feel of a classic TV sitcom, just without the laughs.
After five weeks of testimony and closing arguments on Friday, the jury in the corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, is set to hear instructions today and then begin its deliberations. Jurors were given the three-day Labor Day weekend holiday by Judge James R. Spencer and are expected to receive their instructions from the judge when court resumes this morning. Afterwards, they are expected to begin deliberations at the U.S. District Court in Richmond.
The testimony is over. The case goes to the jury Tuesday. But what exactly do these 12 people face? Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, each stand accused of 13 felonies for violating federal public corruption laws. Prosecutors say the couple sought to illegally promote a health supplement after taking thousands of dollars in gifts and loans from its chief executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr.
The long and downward-spiraling tale of Virginia ex-governor Bob McDonnell – worthy of a Shakespeare or more likely the script writer for an afternoon soap – is headed for its pathetic legal conclusion. The 25-day federal corruption trial of Mr. McDonnell and his wife Maureen, their adult children in the courtroom, heard seven hours of closing arguments Friday. It’ll go to the jury next Tuesday.
In a backyard overlooking Hampton Roads Harbor Monday afternoon, Virginia's campaign season unofficially began — at least in Democratic circles. U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News, hosted his 38th annual Labor Day Picnic at his family home in southeast Newport News.
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Henrico County has a new job with a New York investment bank. Moelis & Company this morning said Cantor, defeated for renomination in the 7th District by political unknown David Brat, was named vice chairman and a board of directors member by Moelis & Company of New York.
A business accelerator created specifically for cybersecurity start-ups in Virginia will welcome a new cohort of companies Tuesday, one year after its doors opened with the goal of establishing the commonwealth as a hotbed for the cybersecurity industry. Among the companies is the developer of a database where companies can securely store customer information, such as credit card numbers, and the creator of software that makes messaging on Facebook Chat private and confidential.
DirecTV customers have lost access to programming at Raycom Media-owned television stations, including WWBT-Channel 12 in Richmond, since the two companies couldn’t work out an agreement over retransmission fees.
The concept of rapid transit bus service in Richmond has been gaining momentum for the better part of a decade as new systems across the country open with the help of federal funds. Last week, Alexandria and Arlington joined the ranks with the Metroway rapid transit system — the first of its kind in the Washington region — as GRTC nears the beginning of its preliminary design phase for its own rapid transit.
The University of Virginia is urging its students to help prevent sexual assault. The university is launching a campaign titled “Hoos Got Your Back,” asking students to intervene in situations where they believe someone is at risk of being sexually assaulted.
Nearly 400,000 Virginia students in the Washington area are scheduled to return to classes Tuesday morning for the start of the 2014-2015 school year, one that brings with it a number of changes across the region’s school districts. In Alexandria, T.C. Williams students will begin the year with new city-issued computer tablets; students in Arlington high schools will be able to take American Sign Language courses for the first time; a new superintendent takes the helm for his first school year in Loudoun; and more than 600 teachers joined the Prince William school district’s faculty during the summer.
Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones will call for the city’s real estate tax rate to be lowered 1 cent at a news conference today, a proposal that, if approved, would be the city’s first rate reduction since 2007.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins stands by his agency's decision to obtain an armored vehicle last year as part of the U.S. Dept. of Defense's 1033 program distributing surplus military equipment to local law enforcement nationwide.