A compilation of newspaper articles
about state government and politics.
VaNews - March 5, 2013
Compiled by Sue Lindsey
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is helping organize a nonprofit foundation to provide voucherlike scholarships to Virginia students who want to attend private schools, capitalizing on a new law he championed last year. McDonnell has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors for Step Up for Virginia's Kids, a new foundation with a goal of becoming the state's largest player in a program that provides tax credits to individuals and businesses in exchange for k-12 scholarships. The position is unpaid, and the Attorney General's Office assured McDonnell there is no conflict of interest to sit on a nonprofit board while governor.
The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a January court ruling that found the agency overstepped its authority in trying to regulate water flow in Accotink Creek in Virginia, the state announced Monday. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the EPA will accept the ruling of Judge Liam O'Grady, who said the federal agency violated the Clean Water Act and couldn't order Fairfax County officials to spend money to cut the flow of the creek to protect the habitat of worms, snails and insects.
The Environmental Protection Agency will not appeal a January ruling that handed Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II a courtroom victory over a federal agency he has tangled with more than once with since being elected to office in 2009. A federal judge had ruled that the EPA overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate stormwater in a Northern Virginia watershed — a ruling Mr. Cuccinelli says could have cost the state and Fairfax County upward of $300 million.
House Speaker Bill Howell says he’s “bothered” by backlash from anti-tax conservatives angry at him and others for passing a transportation funding reform bill that raises taxes. But he said those doing the criticizing don’t understand the bill and have offered no alternatives of their own. And he has no regrets about backing the bill that passed, calling it an example of how Richmond works better than Washington.
There they go again, those pesky comedians, making fun of the Virginia General Assembly. For more than a year now, the state’s lawmakers have been fodder for laughs on the national humor circuit. The latest lampooning occurred on Saturday’s broadcast of the NPR news quiz “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” Host Peter Sagal nearly stumped his celebrity panel with the question: What’s one problem with hybrid cars, according to legislators in Virginia?
You’d think Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s ongoing flirtation with an independent bid for Virginia governor would be setting off alarms in GOP nominee’s Ken Cuccinelli’s world. But it’s not necessarily a given that Bolling would sink the Republican nominee and throw the election to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Experts say, and polling in the race shows, that the effects of a Bolling candidacy could be more complicated than that. Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/will-bill-bolling-play-spoiler-in-virginia-88373.html#ixzz2MfLGd83n
Nothing conveys contempt like a little off-color language. And one conservative Virginia blogger has a dose of it for Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling -- he's flirting with an independent bid for governor -- and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe by extension in the form of a new bumper sticker being sold.
Everything is a commodity for Republican candidates scrambling to win party nominations for statewide office this year, including campaign staff. And two GOP operatives are on the move with less than three months until nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general are determined at the May 18 Virginia Republican Party convention in Richmond.
Del. John Cox, R-Hanover, has announced he won’t run for re-election in the 55th House District. The district covers all of Hanover and parts of Spotsylvania and Caroline counties. All 100 House of Delegates seats are up for election this November.
Democrat Freeda Cathcart of Roanoke is making another run for the 17th District seat in the House of Delegates, a seat Republicans have occupied for nearly a decade. Cathcart will formally announce her bid for her party’s nomination on Thursday, according to a news release issued this afternoon. Republican Chris Head of Botetourt County easily defeated Cathcart in 2011, winning nearly two-thirds of the vote
Legislation introduced by Republican leaders in the U.S. House on Monday could avert possible layoffs of thousands of private shipyard workers in Hampton Roads by providing the Navy with more money this year for ship repairs and aircraft carrier refueling and construction projects.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the bi-partisan Violence Against Women Act with 286 votes after it was already endorsed by the Senate. Te bill allows for Native American women who are assaulted on reservations to take their case to tribal courts. It was the tribal prosecutions, which troubled Southside Congressman Robert Hurt, R-5th District.
Justin Kissi recalls playing soccer as an 8-year-old in his native Ghana and stating to others that he was going to go to the United States when he grew up. “I didn’t know where it was,” he said, “whether it was in heaven … or in the earth.” Kissi, 52, found his way to the U.S. in 1996 to help translate a co-worker’s research. He gained citizenship status in 2006 and took a job for the U.S. Postal Service in Front Royal.
A Virginia State Bar discipline complaint that became an issue in a congressional campaign has been resolved with a public reprimand against the lawyer-candidate. E. Wayne Powell of Midlothian, who lost his bid to unseat Rep. Eric Cantor, R-7th, acknowledged he used depositions in a workers’ compensation case to seek wide-ranging information from two businesses without disclosing related lawsuits filed against the companies.
The developers of Carmel Church Station in Caroline County have suggested the site as a good home for the FBI’s new headquarters. Litt Thompson, who is one of Carmel Church Station’s developers, said he has submitted the site to the General Services Administration for consideration as the FBI’s future home.