A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - October 21, 2014
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Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw
Would you buy a Virginia soybean from this man? How about some more poultry, or pork? Or a bottle of the commonwealth’s finest Cabernet franc? These and other questions could be answered by the end of an 11-day trade mission to Asia by Gov. Terry McAuliffe that includes stops in China and South Korea.
Mark E. Rubin is executive director of the Virginia Center for Consensus Building, a neutral forum at Virginia Commonwealth University for the resolution of public policy problems....QUESTION: You’ve practiced law, served as counsel to a governor and were VCU’s lobbyist at the General Assembly. How did your career path lead you to create a center focused on consensus building?
For 15 years, Democrat John W. Foust has pursued elective office with a blazing intensity that goes against his everyman image as a former steelworker from Pennsylvania who paid his own way through college. It started with a failed bid for the Virginia House of Delegates in 1999. Four years later, Foust challenged a Republican incumbent for a seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, but he lost that race, too. Four years after that, he fought a rematch and won, and he easily held on to his seat for a second term in 2011.
The candidates vying for the 5th District U.S. House of Representatives seat outlined their views on transportation policy, marijuana and D.C.’s legislative priorities Monday during an election forum in Brookneal. Incumbent Rep. Robert Hurt, a Republican, did not attend, citing a scheduling conflict. He sent campaign manager Josh Puccio in his place.
Democrat Norm Mosher told the NAACP in Mathews County on Monday night that the three legs of the "social safety net" — Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act — continue to be under attack by Republicans. Mosher, a resident of Irvington in Lancaster County, is seeking to unseat Rob Wittman for Virginia's 1st Congressional District.
William Carr wants to be the independent, conservative voice for Southwest Virginia. Carr, 69, of Ararat, Virginia, is running against incumbent Republican Morgan Griffith, 56, of Salem, for the 9th District of Virginia seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I am a conservative constitutionalist and a Christian, and when I go to Washington I will vote accordingly,” he said.
Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who is considering a possible 2016 presidential run, discussed his memoir “I Heard My Country Calling” last evening at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College near Manchester. Webb has increased his visibility of late, making a trip to Iowa and giving a high-profile speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore is dipping his toes into the water of three U.S. Senate races with a new PAC and an ad campaign that features him front-and-center. The ads are running through a super PAC called Growth PAC, which formed in September according to FEC records. Gilmore said they'll be backed by a six-figure buy in Virgina, New Hampshire and Iowa.
Virginia’s prison system faces a $45 million shortfall in inmate health care through next year, even as the corrections department bears the brunt of the latest round of cuts in the two-year state budget. The shortfall emerged this year after a private company that had provided health care to inmates at 17 prisons in hard-to-serve areas ended its contract with the state at the end of September, according to Department of Corrections Director Harold W. Clarke in a presentation Monday to the House Appropriations Committee.
Trinity Industries, the highway guardrail maker accused of selling systems that can malfunction during crashes and slice through cars, was found by a jury on Monday to have defrauded the federal government....[T]hree states — Missouri, Massachusetts and, most recently, Virginia — have banned further purchase of the ET-Plus, citing safety concerns. A fourth, Nevada, prohibited them in January, citing Trinity’s failure to disclose the change when it was made.
Virginia health officials are launching a campaign to help cigarette smokers kick the habit. The Virginia Department of Health says it is counting down to Virginia Quit Day on Nov. 20. Tips and support will be posted on the agency's Facebook page every day leading up to the event.
Many retailers and package delivery companies plan to hire more seasonal workers this holiday season than last year. And if you're looking for a job, the time to apply is now. UPS is nearly doubling its holiday staffing from last year by adding up to 95,000 workers nationwide and 625 in the Tidewater Virginia area, said UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg.
Lane Hall, one of the oldest buildings on the Virginia Tech campus, was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Constructed in 1888, Lane Hall was originally called Barracks No. 1 and served as barracks for the Corps of Cadets.
The Richmond School Board voted 7-1 Monday night to sign over the deeds to two long-abandoned East End school buildings to the city as part of a massive redevelopment project being pushed by Mayor Dwight C. Jones. The old Armstrong High and Whitcomb Court Elementary school buildings haven’t held students for years, but were still in the school system’s possession.
A unique and secretive database formed two years ago to help police in five Hampton Roads cities scour personal telephone data for potential criminal activity is drawing the ire of some lawmakers and privacy experts. The formation of the so-called "Hampton Roads Telephone Analysis Share Network" in November 2012 drew virtually no public debate at the time. It would be another six months before Edward Snowden would become a household name.