A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - April 17, 2014
Compiled by Bernadette Kinlaw
Unhappy with operating losses at Virginia's cargo shipping terminals, Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to reshape the Virginia Port Authority by replacing five of 11 appointed members on its Board of Commissioners, including its chairman, before their terms expire. Among their replacements: a former chairman of the authority board who was fired in 2011 when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell swept in a new slate of commissioners.
Surrounded by Bristol Virginia City Council members at the site of The Falls development near Exit 5, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe just moments ago signed the legislation that allows the city to collect tax revenues from the planned retail center.
In May, Terry McAuliffe will become the seventh newly elected Virginia governor in the past 25 years to give the Hokie commencement speech. McAuliffe — narrowly elected in November over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — will address the Virginia Tech class of 2014 at 9 a.m. on May 16 in Lane Stadium.
Lee Russell stood outside Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell’s Falmouth office Wednesday with a petition asking the General Assembly to expand Medicaid. The petition was signed by 451 small-business leaders from across Virginia, and Russell was picked to deliver it to Howell. “I don’t know why I was chosen. I guess because I got a big mouth,” Russell said.
Whatever they tell you, George Allen said, people don't come for the fish. They must come for something, though, because folks have been showing up beneath this copse of trees for decades, snacking on shad and bantering about politics. Allen, the former Virginia governor and U.S. senator, said he's been coming since the 1980s. "This is the way politics ought to be," he said Wednesday.
U.S. Sen Mark Warner touted his bipartisan bona fides Wednesday in rural Virginia at the 66th annual Shad Planking, a political rite of spring in the Old Dominion. Warner, a Democrat, told a largely Republican crowd of several hundred there are people of good will in both major political parties and more bipartisan relationship are needed.
It should come as no surprise that Virginia’s first political rite of spring was a bit slimy, smelly and salty. But enough about the shad. The politicians who turned out Wednesday — most notably Sen. Mark R. Warner D-Va., and Republican front-runner Ed Gillespie — kept it clean and cordial, using the occasion of the 66th Annual Shad Planking to press the flesh with locals and the political classes assembled in the woods for free beer, fish and a good cause.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke to a mostly Republican crowd of a few hundred at the 66th annual Shad Planking hosted by the Wakefield Ruritan Club on Wednesday. Ed Gillespie, a potential Republican competitor for Warner's Senate seat, attended the event but wasn't scheduled to speak. Warner stressed the importance of bipartisanship to the Republican crowd.
Robert Bain stood holding a bourbon in a red plastic cup as Virginians munched on smoked shad and a bluegrass band called Common Ground played amid the pines. The Shad Planking — the commonwealth’s long-running annual political meet-and-greet — was winding down Wednesday after months of work corralling volunteers and drumming up ticket sales, and Bain, a burly real estate broker, allowed a potentially Pollyannaish sentiment to emerge.
In the run-up to midterm congressional elections that both major parties see as crucial, Virginia is again a magnet for political donations as candidates vie for two open seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans and Democrats are steering money in a big way toward favored candidates in Northern Virginia’s 10th and 8th districts.
The 8th District Republican Committee on April 26 will hold a convention to select its nominee for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th). The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Bishop O’Connell High School. In addition to choosing the GOP congressional nominee, delegates also will select the 8th District party chairman.
If you’re a fan of Frank Wolf’s service and in the U.S. House of Representatives, then state Del. Barbara Comstock would like your vote. Comstock, R-McLean, is one of six candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the April 26 party canvass, otherwise known as a firehouse primary.
Henrico County professor David Brat, who is challenging House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the Republican nomination in the 7th District, raised $89,610 from the beginning of the year through March 31, according to his campaign finance filing. Brat ended the period with $42,417 on hand. Cantor reported having more than $2 million as of March 31, and began airing his first TV ad of the primary season on Wednesday.
A draft of the state’s next six-year transportation plan has less money than last year, but still includes funding for some of the Fredericksburg area’s major road projects. The Commonwealth Transportation Board’s 2015–2020 Six-Year Improvement Program draft allocates $13.1 billion statewide for road and rail projects. That figure is $1.3 billion less than last year’s plan, “because state revenues and federal highway and transit funding have decreased,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a release.
At its monthly meeting in Richmond, the Commonwealth Transportation Board had its first look Wednesday at a massive draft of the state's proposed six-year transportation plan for fiscal years 2015-2020. The binder of more than 1,140 pages, divided into districts – Hampton Roads' section is more than 100 pages, with two to three projects per page – was an update of the current six-year plan, but it contained some big changes, according to Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.