VaNews

Monday October 23, 2017


Today's Sponsor:

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

As Virginians celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, learn how the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services can help businesses put ability to work. www.vdars.org

State Elections


IN VIRGINIA'S TRUMP COUNTRY, LOW ENTHUSIASM FOR REPUBLICAN

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

People in Virginia's coal country still love President Donald Trump, but not his pick to be their next governor. Ed Gillespie is a Washington insider and Trump's choice as Virginians prepare to go to the polls. The president promised southwest Virginia voters in a tweet, "Ed Gillespie will never let you down!"



NATIONAL DEMOCRATS ARE JITTERY ABOUT VA. GOVERNOR’S RACE

By DAVID WEIGEL AND ED O'KEEFE, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Democratic National Committee gathered here over the past week with one worry on every activist’s mind: We’d better not lose the Virginia governor’s race. It’s a surprising case of the jitters over a place that hasn’t elected a Republican to statewide office in eight years — and that voted resoundingly against Donald Trump last year.



NORTHAM STOPS IN FREDERICKSBURG TO RALLY WORKERS

By ROB HEDELT, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, Ralph S. Northam, made Fredericksburg a whistle-stop on a spin through the state Sunday afternoon, urging campaign workers to push hard through Election Day.



DEMS AIM TO BOOST BLACK TURNOUT IN VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S RACE

By LISA HAGEN , The Hill

Democrats are looking to mobilize black voters for Virginia’s crucial gubernatorial race, hoping to boost turnout with a core constituency that has repeatedly helped turn the state blue in the past. The governor’s race is one of the biggest electoral prizes on the ballot this year.



HYRA HOPING TO OFFER CONCRETE ALTERNATIVES FOR VIRGINIA VOTERS

By MICHAEL BRAGG, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Libertarian candidate for governor, Cliff Hyra, laid out his vision of a Virginia that, under his leadership, would both promote social inclusiveness and economic innovations for all citizens. Speaking with The Daily Progress, Hyra discussed a number of key platform issues, including criminal justice reform, education and the environment.



WILL TRUMP BE THE WILD CARD IN VIRGINIA ELECTIONS?

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Donald Trump is the biggest wild card in this year’s Virginia elections. He’s got big fans, especially in parts of Virginia that feel they’ve been left behind as populations and economies shrink. He dismays many others in the only southern state that rejected him last year, and one of only two states that holds gubernatorial and state legislative elections the year after a presidential vote.



KAINE, DEMOCRATS LINK GILLESPIE'S MS-13 AD TO 'DIVISIVE' TRUMP STYLE

By ALEX KOMA, Sun Gazette

Republican Ed Gillespie’s TV ads highlighting the dangers of Latino street gangs (and tying the issue to Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s policies) in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest have plainly touched a nerve among Democrats, particularly in Prince William County.



GAY MARRIAGE KEY DISTINCTION IN ATTORNEY GENERAL DEBATE

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Attorney General Mark Herring’s refusal to defend Virginia’s ban on gay marriage was his signature act during his four-year term. Now it’s the key point of contention in his re-election campaign against Republican challenger John Adams.



VA. DEMOCRATIC PARTY ABANDONS POPULIST CHALLENGER IN HOUSE RACE

By PATRICK WILSON , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democratic hopes were high back in April that the party could unseat an influential Republican lawmaker from Northern Virginia. Del. Jackson H. Miller, the House majority whip, had run for clerk of court for Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. He was favored to win, but Democrats, energized by opposition to Donald Trump in the White House, got out their voters. Democratic candidate Jacqueline Smith pulled an upset over Miller.



DEL. LAMONT BAGBY FACES CHALLENGE FROM INDEPENDENT PRESTON BROWN IN 74TH DISTRICT RACE

By MICHAEL O’CONNOR , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates is contending with an independent challenger Nov. 7 in a contest to represent a district that spans Charles City County along with parts of Henrico County and Richmond.



FAMILIAR FACES, PLUS A THIRD, IN 94TH HOUSE DISTRICT RACE

By REEMA AMIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Voters casting ballots in Virginia’s 94th House of Delegates District — one of the state’s most competitive — will find the same Republican incumbent and Democratic challenger they had to choose from in 2015. But this year, a Libertarian engineer has been added to the mix. Here’s a look at the candidates:



IN HENRICO, DEL. O'BANNON FACES RODMAN AS FIRST OPPONENT IN EIGHT YEARS

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

President Barack Obama was serving his first year in office in 2009, the last time Del. John M. O’Bannon III, R-Henrico, faced an opponent for the 73rd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.



IN ONE OF VIRGINA'S REDDER DISTRICTS, SERIOUS MONEY IN A CONTESTED RACE

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The normally sleepy and reliably Republican election season on the Middle Peninsula is looking a lot more lively in 2017, as a Democratic challenger is raising and spending serious money to challenge the General Assembly’s guru on stormwater and control of prescription medications. “We have people who say, ‘Nobody has ever knocked on my door,’ ” Democrat Sheila Crowley said.



A REMATCH IN THE 93RD HOUSE DISTRICT

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In a year when Democratic candidates, and Democratic money, flood in to challenge long-unchallenged House of Delegates Republicans, one of the only two districts where the GOP is working on a serious counterattack is the Williamsburg-to-Kiln Creek 93rd.

State Government


VIRGINIA PREPARING FOR BREAKUP OF CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

By KATIE O’CONNOR , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As Congress remains idle over the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Virginia last week began the process of unwinding a program that insures 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in the state.

Congress


KAINE PROPOSES PUBLIC OPTION FOR HEALTH CARE

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As attention on Capitol Hill began slowly to shift from battles over ending or saving the Affordable Care Act to ideas about fixing it, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine began wondering if there was a simple way to use resources already in place to make sure all Americans have access to health insurance. Now he thinks he’s found it.

Economy/Business


VIRGINIA ENERGY GIANT EYES SANTEE COOPER AFTER NUCLEAR DEBACLE

By SAMMY FRETWELL, The State

Late in 2014, a Virginia utility giant purchased a natural gas pipeline system in South Carolina, signaling its growing interest in the Palmetto State’s energy market. Since that time, Dominion Energy has announced plans for a major solar farm in the Lowcountry, built a gas pipeline southeast of Columbia, established a regional headquarters in the Capital City, donated to nonprofit groups and hired State House lobbyists.



FEDERAL JUDGE REJECTS INJUNCTION REQUEST FOR DOMINION'S JAMES RIVER TRANSMISSION LINE

By ROBERT ZULLO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A federal judge rejected an injunction request that would have blocked construction of Dominion Energy’s Surry-Skiffes Creek transmission line project over the James River, which has been opposed by preservation groups because of its proximity to Historic Jamestowne and other historic landmarks.

Higher Education


SWEET BRIAR STAFFING STILL IN FLUX AFTER CLOSURE ATTEMPT

By JOSH MOODY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Officials say a recent round of staff cuts at Sweet Briar College is part of the plan for developing a model of sustainability as the school continues its rebound from a failed closure attempt in 2015. Faculty and staff have been in flux since the college nearly shut its doors two years ago

Virginia Other


COAST GUARD, LOCALS DISAGREE ON CHANNEL MARKERS IN MATHEWS COUNTY

By JOSH REYES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

It comes down to safety — whether it’s safer to have channel markers in a precarious stretch of water or safer to have no markers so fewer people use the channel. In waterways like Davis Creek and Hole in the Wall around Mathews County, the Coast Guard decided that it was best to remove its markers that they believe guide boaters through unsafe areas.

Confederate Statues


AS RENAMING OF J.E.B. STUART HIGH NEARS, DIVISIONS REMAIN

By DEBBIE TRUONG, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As the campaign intensified to strip J.E.B. Stuart High School of its name, Lisa McQuail’s friendships began to fracture. McQuail, an advocate for erasing the name of the Confederate general from the Northern Virginia school, was barred from an alumni group on Facebook, she said. So they communicated on the page “End Confederate & Segregationist Names for Public Schools.” “I’ve lost many friends,” McQuail said. “It’s going to take years to rebuild the alumni community.”

Local


CAR, CAMPAIGN MATERIALS STOLEN FROM HOME OF COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY CANDIDATE

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A car was stolen Tuesday outside the home of a candidate for commonwealth’s attorney. And when it was recovered later that evening about three miles away, almost 10,000 pieces of campaign literature emblazoned with the name and picture of T.J. Wright were missing.

TV/Radio


VIRGINIA'S REPRESENTATIVES WEIGH IN ON TAX REFORM

By MATT LASLO, WVTF

With President Trump in the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill are promising to get the nation’s economy chugging by slashing taxes. One of the ideas they’re pushing is to simplify the tax code. One way they seek to do that is by ending taxes on the first twenty five thousand dollars a family earns. The current threshold sits at just under $13,000.



WARNER ADDRESSES VIRGINIA WOMEN’S CONFERENCE

By MATTHEW TWIST, WAVY

Senator Mark Warner addressed more than 800 woman gathered at the 8th annual Virginia Woman’s Conference. Warner kicked off the conference by speaking about the many challenges faced by women,

Online News


GUNS NOT PLAYING CENTRAL ROLE IN YOST-HURST RACE

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Former WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) broadcaster Chris Hurst was touched by gun violence when his girlfriend was gunned down on-air two years ago. But Hurst, who is vying for the 12th District seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, rarely talks about guns on the campaign trail.



GROUP SPENDS $1M TURNING OUT DEMOCRATIC-LEANING GROUPS IN VIRGINIA

By KEVIN ROBILLARD , Politico

A group looking to turn out key Democratic-leaning demographics plans to spend just over $1 million in Virginia, ahead of the state's closely watched gubernatorial and state legislative elections.



CAN DEMOCRATS WIN RURAL VIRGINIA VOTERS?

By SARAH JONES, New Republic

Western Virginia should be an easy win for Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee for governor. It is mostly white and firmly conservative, a long-time base for the state’s GOP. But Gillespie, with his establishment ties and moderate reputation, has faced his share of challenges in the region.



LIBERTARIAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE CLIFF HYRA VISITS CHARLOTTESVILLE

By NIKHIL POPLI, Cavalier Daily

Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian candidate in this year’s closely-watched race for Virginia governor, visited Charlottesville Thursday to meet with interested voters. With less than three weeks until Election Day, Hyra says he is trying to attract voters with his free-market, small government message.


Today's Sponsor:

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

As Virginians celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, learn how the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services can help businesses put ability to work. www.vdars.org

Editorials


SECURE DRIVERS LICENSES COMING—19 YEARS AFTER 9/11

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

THREE YEARS after the 9/11 attacks and based on a key recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005, which seeks to “improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents” by requiring proof of identity and legal U.S. residency. The federal law, which was supposed to be fully implemented by 2008, set “minimum security standards” for the acceptance of IDs, including driver’s licenses, that are used to board aircraft or gain access to federal buildings, military installations and nuclear facilities, according to the U.S. Deptartment of Homeland Security—or DHS.



THE STATE OF THE GOVERNOR'S RACE

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

What the heck is going on? Last week we saw a slew of new polls in the governor’s race and they were all over the place, ranging from Democrat Ralph Northam with a lead of 14 percentage points in the Quinnipiac Poll to Republican Ed Gillespie with a lead of 1 percentage point in the Monmouth Poll. Lots of others were in between.



ED GILLESPIE OPPOSES ALMOST EVERY REASONABLE GUN-SAFETY MEASURE IMAGINABLE

Washington Post Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Ed Gillespie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, hopes urban and suburban voters regard him as a moderate. On the issue of firearms, however, Mr. Gillespie is an unabashed opponent of virtually every reasonable gun-safety measure imaginable.



HAPPINESS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE STILL IS LAUDED

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

“Go to your happy place.” That cliché still fits Charlottesville, according to National Geographic and its partners.



THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL, STATE RACES

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

THE NOV. 7 election is only 16 days away, and local and statewide candidates are making their final push to win your vote. In addition to the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, this area has 10 contested races for House of Delegates seats and nine races for constitutional officer positions.



SECRECY IS HURTING RALLY INVESTIGATION

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Charlottesville activists ought to take their campaign to Richmond. Let’s see how Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his crew like it when meetings are interrupted by protesters accusing officials of having blood on their hands for not responding more effectively to racist rallies.



WHY IS VA. TREATING ITS STUDENTS — ESPECIALLY ITS BLACK STUDENTS — LIKE CRIMINALS?

Washington Post Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A quaint idea about school discipline is that students who are unruly and disobedient, or who get in minor scrapes or hallway shoving matches, will be dealt with sternly by teachers and principals. If only. In fact, in a staggering number of such cases, the students, who are often preteens in elementary and middle schools, are referred to police and the courts — a wildly disproportionate response that can stigmatize children at school and, in some cases, be a stain on their records for years.



AN ILL-CONSIDERED ATTEMPT AT POLITICKING

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

If it's an election year — and commonwealth voters head to the polls in about two weeks — then it’s little surprise that Virginia is arguing about transportation funding once again. The latest outburst came at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Monday when Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne offered a detailed retort to accusations that Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration wasn’t funneling enough money to Southwest Virginia projects. It followed a letter from Republican delegates serving that area,



THE SHAPE OF VIRGINIA FOUR YEARS FROM NOW

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Voters can use any number of yardsticks to measure the worth of a political candidate: personal character, intellectual horsepower, partisan loyalty, philosophical bent, voting record, management skill, and so on. Here’s another, often implicit: What should the future look like?



WHY AMAZON AND OTHER TECH COMPANIES OWE A MORAL DEBT TO APPALACHIA

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google do different things, but the tech giants all have the same goal (aside from, perhaps, world domination). These energy-hungry companies all want to get 100 percent of their power from renewable sources. They are all well on their way, too.

Columnists


SCHAPIRO: CANDIDATES GET A LITTLE HELP FROM BIG-NAME FRIENDS

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Over five days, two former presidents, a Republican and a Democrat, and a sitting Republican vice president made a total of four stops in three regions of Virginia: one bright red, another deep blue; the third, purple. Such big-name traffic should eliminate any doubt that the state’s gubernatorial campaign — not long ago, a provincial friends-and-neighbors affair — has been fully nationalized.

Op-Ed


DAVE BRAT: BIG SPENDING FEEDS THE D.C. SWAMP

Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Big spenders in Washington have run up more than $20 trillion on our nation’s credit card with no plan to pay it back. The debt limit is a legislative tool that gives Congress the opportunity to examine how current policies affect spending, deficits, and debt — and correct course before a crisis hits. However, Congress has gotten into the bad habit of approving debt-limit increases without a single fiscal reform or spending cut.

Dave Brat, a Republican, represents Virginia’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.



NIEMIEC: PLAYING WITH RETIREES’ LIVES

By JOHN NIEMIEC, Published in the Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) says that if we don’t take action soon, the county is destined for economic catastrophe. He is falsely claiming that Fairfax County’s public-employee pension plans are going to bust the county’s budget.

John Niemiec is president of the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics.



KENNEDY: RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS CAN BE SOLVED WITH CONSTELLATION OF SATELLITES

By JACK KENNEDY, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie recently held their last debate at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Each pointed to the need to place more public-private emphasis on providing broadband access in rural areas, especially as we begin to enter the profound age denoted by Internet of Things.

Kennedy is a strategic business and technology intelligence consultant based in Wise. He is also clerk of court in Wise County and a former member of the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority.



BROWN AND PHILLIPS: REGION MUST FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE TO PROTECT HEALTH, SECURITY

By DEBORAH BROWN AND ANN PHILLIPS, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, many mourn their lost loved ones. In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the National Guard and FEMA, with support from the U.S. military, are conducting medical evacuations of patients whose medical care facilities have all but ceased to exist.

Deborah P. Brown is executive vice president of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Rear Adm. Ann C. Phillips, USN-Ret., is a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board.



FORGET: CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT

By KAREN FORGET, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Forty-five years ago, Republican and Democratic lawmakers came together to pass the Clean Water Act. This landmark legislation regulates pollution discharges, ensuring that all of our nation’s waterways — from the smallest streams to the mightiest rivers — are protected from pollution and degradation.

Karen Forget is the executive director of Lynnhaven River NOW and vice chairman of the Virginia Conservation Network, a partnership of more than 100 conservation organizations.



MORSE: CANDIDATES OFTEN FAIL ON EDUCATION QUESTIONS

By GORDON C. MORSE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia is not Virginia like it used to be. Not politically, anyway. And there are dangers in that, especially for what Virginia does or does not do. In public education, for instance. Things change naturally, of course. How much do you find in America that’s fixed? Not much, not ever.

Gordon C. Morse wrote editorials for this newspaper in the 1980s and was former Gov. Gerald L. Baliles’ speechwriter.



ANDREWS: A REGIONAL DIVIDE IS GROWING ABOUT BIG MONEY IN POLITICS

By PHIL ANDREWS, Published in the Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Potomac River separates increasingly different states of mind about big money in politics. Virginia is a sanctuary for fat cats, the only East Coast state where individuals, corporations, unions and political action committees can contribute unlimited funds to a candidate, an incentive for politicians to cater to wealthy individuals and interest groups.

Phil Andrews served on the Montgomery County Council from 1998 to 2014. He was the lead sponsor of the county’s public-financing law.

From vpap.org


VISUALIZATION: TARGETED HOUSE SEATS

The Virginia Public Access Project

VPAP ranks House of Delegates districts based on the combined total direct donations candidates have received from political party committees and other candidates in the three months ending September 30. The list includes three open seats and 10 districts where incumbents face challengers.



OPEN SEAT PROFILE: HOUSE DISTRICT 64

The Virginia Public Access Project

The decision by Del. Rick Morris (R-Isle of Wight) to not seek re-election created an open-seat race in HD 64, a sprawling rural expanse that runs south of the James River from Petersburg to Hampton Roads. VPAP created a visual that highlights the district's demographics and voting history. Coming Monday: HD 72.