A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - April 18, 2014
Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw
Less than three years after being unceremoniously dumped as chairman of the Virginia Port Authority’s board, John Milliken is poised to return to power. On Thursday, in a brief presentation at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk, Gov. Terry McAuliffe reappointed him to the board and made it clear he wants him to get his old job back.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Terry McAuliffe told the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce that the Virginia Port Authority's 20-year lease of APM Terminals' Portsmouth container facility was one of the worst lease deals he had ever seen. On Thursday, after naming five new Port Authority board members, he told The Pilot that APM wants to sell its terminal to the authority and that talks on a potential deal are about to get under way.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe named five new political appointees to the Virginia Port Authority's Board of Commissioners Thursday, in the process removing ahead of schedule a group of commissioners aligned with former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. Board chairman Jeff Wassmer and commissioners James Boyd, Scott Bergeron, Craig Coy and Bob Stanton were replaced before the ends of their terms. McAuliffe's quintet of new appointees includes John Milliken, a Northern Virginia lawyer who previously served as VPA board chairman during the Democratic administration of Tim Kaine.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe is shaking up the Virginia Port Authority, which oversees the third-busiest seaport on the East Coast. McAuliffe announced Thursday at a news conference in Norfolk that he’s replacing five members of the authority’s board of commissioners in an attempt to improve the authority’s fiscal management and return it to profitability.
Governor Terry McAuliffe on Thursday called the new Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, "the biggest game changer" for the region in terms of solving its transportation problems. "You have the ability now through HTAC to make your decisions," McAuliffe told the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization board at its monthly meeting.
For a minute Thursday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe sounded like a parent admonishing a den full of children. Seated before him was a collection of mayors, city officials and county supervisors from southeast Virginia. His topic: The nearly $200 million a year the region now has at its disposal to build the mega-road projects it has long sought. "So," McAuliffe said, "no more blaming Richmond."
Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to announce today that he will shrink the time violent felons must wait to seek reinstatement of their voting rights and will remove some offenses from that list. The policy, slated to take effect April 21, comes on top of years of work to streamline the process, and aims to make the system easier to understand and to allow more felons to petition the state more quickly.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Mark Warner are donating to charity money tied to a wealthy hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations. Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty Thursday in New York to using “straw” donors to bypass campaign finance limits. He’s also given directly to the campaigns of several Democrats besides McAuliffe and Warner.
Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who stopped here last week on a tour of the Northern Neck, participated in a roundtable discussion with doctors and hospital administrators from Rappahannock General Hospital (RGH) and Bon Secours. She heard about the impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and federal cuts are having on a small, rural hospital with 70% of its in-patient business dependent on Medicare or one of the state’s Medicaid programs.
Wednesday’s Open House for the Northern Neck Food Bank’s new warehouse in Warsaw was well-attended by guests from the Northern Neck and beyond that included farmers, town and county officials, local business representatives, former 99th district representatives Albert Pollard and Tayloe Murphy and current Delegate Margaret Ransone.
Ran across an interesting piece from 2011 from the American Legislative Exchange Council, entitled “The State Legislators Guide to Repealing Obamacare.” Among other things, the report highlighted 2010 Virginia legislation meant to nullify the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that people buy health insurance – the individual mandate that the U.S. Supreme Court later upheld.
Emerson Poarch Jr., 72, says his father went to his grave incredulous that hunters would pay a fee to run their hounds in a “fox pen.” The fox hunting tradition Emerson Sr. observed as a Virginia farmer was not so different from that known by George Washington, who on horseback joined his hounds in pursuit of foxes through the countryside near his Mount Vernon estate. Eventually, rural turned suburban, and homeowners complained about dogs’ trespassing. Roadways replaced forests, resulting in more dogs being struck by vehicles. And now one kind of fox hunting has become a cultural flash point in a state where many feel that rural traditions are under assault and where animal rights sentiments carry more weight than they ever did in the past.
While Spotsylvania School Board Chairman James Meyer is thankful for the promise of additional county funds to close the division’s $1.6 million budget gap, he reminded board members Thursday that more challenges remain before fiscal year 2015 numbers are set in stone. Paramount to those concerns is the still looming state budget decision. “This year, given that we don’t have a state budget in sight, knowing the local gap in covered is much appreciated,” Superintendent Scott Baker echoed.
Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell (R) has lost another legal fight in the federal corruption case against him and his wife. A judge on Thursday rejected a request by the couple’s attorneys to file completely secret declarations about the testimony their clients would give if their trials were separated. The attorneys had wanted to file the declarations and keep prosecutors and the public from reviewing them to support their bid to sever the cases.
Gov. Bob McDonnell’s legal defense fund on Thursday made a new appeal for donations, saying his trial alone will cost an estimated $1 million for legal fees, housing, experts, transcripts and other costs. “We need to insure that the legal team has the resources to prepare and defend Bob at trial,” the Restoration Fund said in a news release, adding that such expenses “can be ruinous.”