Tuesday October 25, 2016
By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday blamed the political “silly season” for a Wall Street Journal article that connected his in-state political activity to the FBI investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The story — circulated widely by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservative media outlets — centers on $465,700 in donations from McAuliffe’s political action committee last year to Democratic state Senate candidate Jill McCabe. Her husband, Andrew McCabe, was a high-ranking FBI official at the time who was later promoted to deputy director, which gave him oversight over the Clinton email investigation.
By PATRICK WILSON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
Republicans raised questions Monday about a news report showing that a state Senate candidate who was funded in part by Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee is the wife of a senior FBI official who later helped supervise the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use. McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter and friend, called the story part of the presidential “silly season” and criticized the Wall Street Journal, which reported that his PAC gave nearly $500,000 to Dr. Jill McCabe in her unsuccessful run last year against Republican Sen. Dick Black of Loudoun County. The race was one of several in which McAuliffe made a push as he tried to help Democrats retake the Senate.
By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER , Washington Post
Donald Trump and Republican supporters have been feasting on a Wall Street Journal story about campaign contributions that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe authorized last year in a Northern Virginia state Senate race. ...But this one may be less than it appears.
By STAFF REPORT, Loudoun Times
The Wall Street Journal released a front-page story today highlighting the political and financial relationship between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and 2015 state Senate candidate Jill McCabe of Ashburn. Virginia Republicans are suggesting McAuliffe, whose political action committee gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the McCabe, was in effect buying favors from the FBI because McCabe's husband, Andrew, worked for and is now a deputy director at bureau.
By FRANK GREEN , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Acknowledging it is a difficult case, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office is nevertheless opposing the innocence claim of a Chesapeake man convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl almost 40 years ago. Roy L. Watford III has filed a petition for a writ of actual innocence with the Virginia Supreme Court, citing new DNA evidence that he contends shows he is innocent of the Sept. 14, 1977, rape in Portsmouth.
By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post
Republican Donald Trump, never short on campaign shockers, pulled one off Saturday simply by setting foot in Virginia. Trump’s rally in Virginia Beach, part of a renewed push here that included a $2 million television ad buy, flabbergasted political analysts and GOP strategists who have considered the swing state off the table for months.
By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin has canceled his scheduled town hall Thursday at the University of Richmond in order to focus on Western states, according to his campaign.
By REEMA AMIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
A debate scheduled Tuesday between U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News and his Republican challenger in the 3rd Congressional District, Marty Williams, was canceled Monday after a disagreement over how questions were drafted. The event will now be a town hall at Christopher Newport University's McMurran Hall, in Room 210, where Scott plans to discuss the issues with students, according to a statement from his office. Williams said he was not invited to that.
By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star
The 1st Congressional District candidates touched on gun control, healthcare—and presidential contenders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—during a debate Monday night in Fredericksburg. U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R–Westmoreland County, faced repeated jabs from challenger Matt Rowe, a Democrat, over the congressman’s support for Trump. Gail Parker, an independent who also took part in the debate, focused on her desire to expand the nation’s rail system.
By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post
Rep. Don Beyer has some quirky ideas about what legislation he would pursue if he wins a second term in Congress next month. He wants to push for a billion-dollar economic development project in hard-hit coal communities far from his suburban Northern Virginia district. He longs to revise the federal budget process, requiring an even Democrat-Republican split on key committees. And he would like to see larger, multimember congressional districts, as was allowed before 1842.
By ALEX ROHR, News & Advance
The last-minute charge of voter registrations that clogged the Virginia Department of Elections website as the deadline to register approached last week included a significant number of duplicate applications, according to Lynchburg-area registrars. As of Monday, the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office had registered 55,988 voters, although more than 2,000 applications are waiting for processing in its online “hopper,” according to Lynchburg Registrar Karen Patterson.
By PETE DELEA, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)
At least 1,100 Harrisonburg and Rockingham County residents signed up online to vote last week after a federal judge extended Virginia’s voter-registration deadline. About 500 registered in the county and 600 in the city, according to local registrars. Paper registration forms have not been counted.
By LAUREN NORTHINGTON, Richmond Free Press
Rochelle Russell, 33, is one of 206,000 Virginians who has a felony conviction, served her time and is now living back in the community. Now for the first time since her 2010 conviction, Ms. Russell will be able to vote in November. “I pay taxes, I’ve paid my fines, and I’ve done my time. And I feel as though I should have a voice in the community,” Ms. Russell said Monday at a voting rights restoration roundtable hosted by the grassroots organization New Virginia Majority.
By KATIE DEMERIA, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
The Virginia Board of Health voted Monday to remove contested regulations on abortion facilities that board members deemed an undue burden on abortion access. The 11-4 vote repealed regulations that required facilities that provide five or more abortions a month to meet hospital-like building standards, among other restrictions.
By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post
The Virginia Board of Health voted Monday to scrap hospital-style building codes for all abortion clinics, saying that they were unconstitutional under a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The board had signaled months ago that it would lift the requirements for 14 existing clinics but impose them on any new ones. But in an 11-to-4 vote Monday, it decided that the construction requirements should not apply to any of the state’s clinics.
By BOB STUART, News Virginian
For critics of Virginia's Medicaid program, recent news from a Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission study that general fund spending on the program has increased $1.7 billion, or 75 percent, during the past decade, is proof that Medicaid cannot be expanded. ... Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel said the federal funds that would flow to the commonwealth from a larger program would help the state with addiction and mental health treatment, and save $210 million in annual general fund spending.
By BOB STUART, News Virginian
Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles has filed a complaint with the state Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission asking for an investigation of possible judicial canon violations by retired Appeals Court Judge Rudolph Bumgardner III and retired Circuit Court Judge Humes Franklin, Jr. Pyles' Oct. 20 complaint stems from the work both judges have done in recent months in opposition to the November Augusta County referendum on moving the county courthouse to Verona from its current Staunton location.
By LOUIS LLOVIO , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
Efforts by the state’s Children’s Cabinet are showing improvements in several key areas affecting young people across Virginia, including better results for Petersburg’s school district. The findings were part of a report issued at the inaugural Virginia Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Stakeholders Forum on Monday.
By CAROL HAZARD, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
One of the nation’s fastest-growing companies selected Richmond as the headquarters for its operations and global research center, after an extensive national search. What’s more, Washington, D.C.-based CoStar Group Inc., a research and analytic company for the commercial real estate industry, is starting an aggressive recruitment strategy to hire 730 people here. The deal was announced Monday.
By ANA LEY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
Some Portsmouth and Norfolk drivers will get 75-cent discounts on trips through the Downtown and Midtown tunnels next year, just as the tolls are scheduled for a big jump. Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday unveiled a program to provide relief – paid for by the company overseeing the tunnels – for residents making $30,000 or less.
By THERESA CLIFT, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
Low-income Norfolk and Portsmouth residents will soon be able to qualify for a discount on Midtown and Downtown tunnel tolls, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday. For now, to qualify for the 75-cent toll discount, drivers must make less than $30,000 a year, have an E-Z Pass transponder and make at least eight trips through the Elizabeth River tunnels per month, McAuliffe said.
By JEFF HAMPTON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
Construction on parts of new Interstate 87 connecting Norfolk ports to Raleigh could begin in the next eight years. In Edenton Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled one of about nine future interstate signs to go up along U.S. 17 in northeastern North Carolina. “We’ve got to have connectivity between Raleigh and Norfolk,” McCrory said, standing before a crowd of about 100 on the Edenton waterfront.
By LAUREN NORTHINGTON, Richmond Free Press
A Richmond Public Schools official warned student scores on state Standards of Learning tests are headed for further decline. The dire prediction from Valenta Wade, RPS manager of testing and data, sent members of the Richmond School Board into a tailspin at Monday night’s meeting at City Hall, with some members expressing concern about increased state intervention.
By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
Federal officials want to see a long list of documents, including financial records for the past 12 months, from the embattled Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority. In a letter dated Oct. 14, the Department of Housing and Urban Development told the Portsmouth agency to expect an in-person review Dec. 5-8 to “evaluate the Board of Commissioners’ ability to govern, examine financial operations and review internal controls.”
By JEFF CLABAUGH, WTOP
State grant money and other incentives helped convince District-based commercial real estate data company CoStar Group to locate its new research and software development center in Virginia. CoStar will invest $8 million in the new Richmond facility and create more than 700 new jobs, the company said.
By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post
Next year’s race for Virginia governor could be dominated by someone not on the ballot: Donald Trump. Virginia Democrats hope to make the 2016 Republican presidential candidate a central theme in the 2017 governor’s race — a strategy the state party rolled out Tuesday with a new website, Trump4Gov.com.
By STEPHEN DINAN, Washington Times
Donald Trump’s campaign called for the FBI to explain itself Monday after reports that a top Clinton family political ally authorized more than $600,000 in campaign contributions to the wife of an FBI official who helped investigate Hillary Clinton’s secret email account.
By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, The Economist
Richmond, the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy for most of the Civil War is today a majority-minority city with a flourishing entertainment and cultural scene that is often celebrated in the national media. Its arty edginess has made it magnet for coffee-sipping, craft-beer quaffing, Vespa-riding millennials. But all that is currently being overshadowed by a bigger local story: an embarrassing mayoral election.
Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
On Saturday, Donald Trump campaigned in Virginia Beach. He vowed to carry the Old Dominion. The Trump event occurred at Regent University, turf as friendly to Republicans as Liberty University in Lynchburg.
Daily Press Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)
We need patience and increased funding to address Hampton Roads' traffic issues, but we don't need more of the public-private partnerships that brought us 58 years of escalating tolls at the Midtown and Downtown tunnels and the debacle of U.S. 460. Instead, we look to traditional state-run construction efforts, limited tolling on new or expanded water crossings and a refiguring of our regional gasoline tax to address infrastructure needs.
Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
Will Sessoms, Virginia Beach’s mayor for the past eight years, has earned another term in office. That would be true even if he weren’t running against a collection of candidates who seem to want desperately to turn back the clock in Virginia Beach.
By ROGER CHESLEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)
News that nearly 28,000 Virginians registered to vote online last week, after a judge ordered the registration period extended because the state’s website crashed repeatedly, gives me insights on a few things. Some good, some not. First, why are we such a nation of procrastinators? Ample information was out there – at government offices, on social media, on newscasts – announcing the Oct. 17 deadline.
By JOYCE WAUGH AND LARRY CUMMINGS, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)
....With leadership at the state level, Virginia can implement policies that encourage the continued growth of this market. One example is expansion of the VirginiaSAVES program, a unique public/private partnership to provide subsidized financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuel loans for both private and local government properties and entities within the commonwealth.
Joyce Waugh is president & CEO of the Roanoke Regional Chamber. Larry Cummings is solutions leader at Trane.