Recent Senate Votes
Student Loan Interest Rates (81-18, 1 not voting) – The bill ties federal loan interest rates to the government’s cost of borrowing.
- Senator Mark Warner voted YES
- Senator Tim Kaine voted YES
Recent House Votes
Defense Appropriations, NSA Phone Record Collection Amendment (205-217, 12 not voting) – The amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill would restrict collection of telephone records through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders to only data involving people under investigation.
- Rep. James Moran voted YES
Defense Appropriations, Final Passage (315-109, 9 not voting) – “It would provide $512.5 billion in non-war discretionary funding and $82.3 billion in contingency funds to support operations in Afghanistan and the general war on terrorism. The bill also includes a 1.8 percent pay raise for military personnel. The White House has already threatened to veto the legislation over provisions intended to limit executive branch budgetary and policy options,” according to MegaVote.
- Rep. James Moran voted YES
Coal Ash Regulations, Passage (265-155, 13 note voting) – The bill would allow states to create and implement their own programs for coal combustion residuals. This authority belonged to the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Rep. James Moran voted NO
Transportation &HUD Appropriations S.1243 – The Senate is scheduled to debate a bill that would fund the Transportation and Urban Development departments.
Transportation &HUD Appropriations H.R.2610 – The House is scheduled to consider a bill about funding the Transportation and Urban Development departments.
The information used in this post is from MegaVote.
According to Telemundo Washington’s Hola Ciudad, the Virginian immigrant community is furious with Ken Cuccinelli. The Republican candidate for governor recently compared immigrant policy to pest control. To read Cuccinelli’s rhetoric, check out Huffington Post‘s coverage.
Jaime Areizaga-Soto, President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, released a statement on Friday:
“Exigimos una disculpa al nuestra comunidad que está contribuyendo trabajando y somos tan virginianos como los demás, esto es algo para condenar y una pena que un oficial electo en Virginia haya hecho ese tipo de comentario, pedimos una disculpa.”
It translates to:
“We demand an apology to our community, which is contributing by working and is just as Virginian as everyone else. [The offensive language by Cuccinelli] is something to condemn, and it is a shame that an elected official in Virginia has made this type of commentary. We are asking for an apology.”
Cuccinelli has not responded to the matter.
Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling withdrew from the gubernatorial race last year, but is a write-in campaign in his future?
He quit the race after he thought he could not beat Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. He thought about running as an independent candidate, but decided against it in March, according to Breit Bart.
It has been speculated that Bolling could be the interim governor if McDonnell is forced out of office, and then be a write-in on the governor ballot.
It is hard to tell at this point if he will be a write-in candidate or not for the gubernatorial race, but he looks like he hasn’t given up quite yet.
Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, E.W. Jackson, has proposed a new education bill to give home schooled children the same resources as public school children.
The Virginia Education Association reported that if passed the bill would result in a $100 million cut to schools that are already underfunded, which could potentially fire 1,700 teachers in Virginia.
Democratic nominee for the 13th District of Virginia, Atif Qarni, stated, “As a teacher I have seen first-hand, resources being cut from our public schools. My smallest class size last year was 34 students.”
Qarni’s opponent Delegate Bob Marshall’s voting record shows funding for education is not a top priority. He voted for a budget that decreased school funding by $620 million in 2010, an amendment to HB 30 that increased class sizes and against the Conference Report to HB 1500 that would have given $30 million to keep schools safe.
Think Progress reports E.W. Jackson stated “African Americans’ sexuality is to blame for urban violence.”
If elected as Lt. Governor, he stated his first act to decrease violence would be to stop sexual behavior.
He plans on visiting youth in at risk communities to speak to them about waiting for marriage before engaging in sexual activities, and to “stop treating your bodies as sexual objects.”
So how does Jackson plan to stop teens from engaging in sexual activities?
“We’ve got to begin to rebuild the family because in my view, that’s where the problem really lies. For men to stay in the home and raise the children that they father.”
According to Jackson, violence can be stopped by teens being celibate and in order for that to happen they must have their fathers in their lives.
The race is heating up as we get closer to the special election for Fairfax County Sheriff in November. Stacey Kincaid recently defeated Mark Sites to become the Democratic candidate.
Kincaid received 605 votes to Sites’ 351. Kincaid said, “I look forward to moving forward… and working together and kicking butt in November with Terry [McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for governor], Mark [Herring, Democratic candidate for attorney general] and Ralph [Northam, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor].”
Read more about the new developments in the sheriff’s race at Herdon Patch.
An exclusive on CNN reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is following a “50 State Strategy” to gain support throughout the nation before the 2016 presidential election. This campaign technique was used by Democrats in the past, including Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign.
After Romney’s loss of the 2012 presidential election, Republicans are determined to win back their place in government. As part of the campaign, RNC hired new staffers and opened offices in Virginia and New Jersey to help with the competitive governor’s races. Kirsten Kukowski, RNC party spokeswoman, hopes to have “hundreds of staffers and nearly 100 offices around the country” by the end of the year.
In Virginia, the RNC will be “testing voter contact efforts with controlled experiments and fine-tuning their engagement efforts with African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic communities who are firmly entrenched in the Democratic camp,” states Kukowski.
Pilot Online reports that there will be two additional debates between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, candidates for Virginia governor, before the election on November 5. Both candidates are eager to face-off again one-on-one, with Cuccinelli proposing as many as 15 debates. The two debates are scheduled for September 25 at Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and another in late September or early October at Virginia Tech. None of the debates currently include the libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis.
If Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell truly believes he did not break the law in regards to accepting gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, why did he feel compelled to apologize and repay $120,000 in loans?
Politico reports, “Unmentioned in the statement were gifts from Williams that have also drawn scrutiny, which reportedly included a $15,000 New York shopping trip for the governor’s wife; a $6,500 Rolex that McDonnell said his wife gave him; and thousands of dollars related to the McDonnells’ daughters’ weddings.”
It has been speculated that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has also been involved in issues related to Star Scientific failures to disclose gifts.
Read the full article at: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/bob-mcdonnell-apology-94629.html
Out of Virginia’s 71 previous governors, none of them have left office prior to the end of their term before.
In light of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s financial controversy, the state will need to consider what actions should be taken. This includes forcing an official to step down early or resign for the first time.
What are the steps for the removal process and what could be the effects of these actions?
For more details check out: http://ballotnews.org/2013/07/23/if-gov-mcdonnell-leaves-office-before-the-end-of-his-term-what-then/