Posts belonging to Category Virginia General Assembly



Caroline County Redistricting News: Goodbye Chris Peace, hello John Cox.

The proposed redistricting plan for the Virginia House of Delegates is out and it has a pretty major change in it for the southern portion of the county. While the Port Royal precinct and the Bowling Green district stay in the 99th and the Woodford precinct stays in the 54th, everyone else will now be in the 55th district (John Cox) instead of the 97th (Chris Peace) (click the image to enlarge):

The State Senate redistricting plan is out, but there is no change for Caroline County in that: the whole county stays in the 4th district (McDougle).

Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.

Delegate Chris Peace is an embarrasment to Caroline County and Virginia.

Delegate Chris Peace (R-97th), who represents the southern portions of Caroline County, including Ladysmith, has a brilliant idea: he’s going to run those damn Hispanics illegals out of state colleges and universities.

When did he turn to promote his bill to keep Hispanics illegals out of college? “World Net Daily” (WND).

What is “World Net Daily”, you may be asking? Well, it is the clearing house of hundreds of different crazy conspiracy theories, including being one of the main sites responsible for the “Birthers” who allege, despite the voluminous evidence to the contrary, that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. In all, it is a bunch of crazies that write a bunch of nonsensical drivel.

Did he solicit an interview from WND or did they contact him? In any case, why did he agree to have an interview with them? Is he a Birther? If I was a politician and WND contacted me to do a story about a bill that I had sponsored, it was force me to do a little rethinking about my position. But for Chris Peace? He is more than glad to do an interview with a bunch of nuts.

Illegal aliens are already not eligible for in-state tuition (see Va. Code § 23-7.4), but now Chris Peace wants colleges and universities to conduct full background checks on applicants to see if they are in the country legally.

How about we just call this the “Bureaucrat Full Employment Act”? I thought Republicans were supposed to be for limited government or something?

Here is to hoping that someone runs against him this year. Chris Peace should not be in any position of elected office in this state.

General Assembly gives a big middle-finger to Caroline County.

How? By refusing to fill the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Court Judge Horace Revercomb on March 1st.

The General Assembly decided that instead of funding essential services like judges, they could save a few bucks by using substitute judges. They don’t care if that causes problems with continuity of leadership, if it makes it more difficult for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to prosecute cases, or for defense attorneys to represent their clients.

Even more insulting that the General Assembly voted to increase fees for deed recordation (something done by the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office) and court fees. But did they decide to use that money to pay for judges? Of course not.

But what did the General Assembly have money for? The “Wine Promotion Fund” ($745,000), the “Motion Picture Opportunity Fund” ($1,000,000), and the “Governor’s Opportunity Fund” ($12,100,000). So, they have money for corporate welfare but not for essential services. They also refused to completely cut government funding for “arts” and “public broadcasting”.

The worst part? Three of the four people in the General Assembly that are supposed to be representing Caroline County and its citizens voted for this budget: Delegates Bobby Orrock, who lives in the county, and Chris Peace, and Senator Ryan McDougle. Hopefully the citizens of Caroline County remember this during the next election.

In the mean time, maybe us citizens should send a copy of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to our elected representatives.

And an aside, was Delegate Bobby Orrock busy chasing down the dreaded puppy mills while not giving two hoots about acquiring full-time funding for the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office like in 2008?

Cross-posted at On The Right and Virginia Virtucon.

2010 General Assembly Session: The good, the bad, and the ugly (so far).

Or the “great”, the “good”, the “bad”, and the “what the…” bills that have been prefiled so far for this coming session.

Great

HJ5 (Oder): Creates a transportation lockbox.

SB 4 (Smith): Requires General Assembly members to disclose if them or anyone in their families makes more than $10,000 from any state or local agency or government.

SB 5 (Smith): Requires state budget documents and amendments be posted for 72 hours before they can be voted on.

Good

HB1 (Loupassi): Makes Virginia’s anti-spam statute constitutional by excepting religious and politician spam.

HB8 (Carrico)/SB 3 (Smith): Allows for renewal of Virginia concealed handgun permits via the mail instead of requiring you to go to the courthouse.

HB18 (Cole): Tells the federal governments that regulation of interstate commerce is exactly that: interstate commerce.

Bad

HB2 (Loupassi): I’m sick of tax credits. And people wonder why it’s impossible to understand the tax code without a team of accountants and lawyers.

SB 9 (Blevins): Because the government doesn’t have anything better to do.

SB 10 (Blevins): See above.

What the…

HB21 (Kilgore): Seriously, who knew that the state had civil immunity for people doing space flights?

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter: Just another big-government Republican.

From today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter is getting in on the fight over the flying of the American flag.

The Prince William County Republican plans to submit a bill for next year’s General Assembly session that would require homeowners associations to allow combat veterans decorated for valor to fly the flag in any manner permitted by federal law.

[…]

Lingamfelter joins a group of supporters that boasts the White House, Democrats including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and both of Virginia’s U.S. senators, as well as Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, the second-ranking Republican in the House.

[…]

Lingamfelter hasn’t finalized the language of his bill, and he noted that he’s open to broadening its scope to include more than just decorated veterans. He also said he’s open to associations decreeing requirements for residents’ flag display.

“Just don’t tell them they can’t do it,” he said.

In terms of Barfoot’s specific situation, Lingamfelter said it’s possible that the association will allow the matter to quietly go away.

“But I’m not going to quietly go away,” he added.

Similarly, he said that he has never faced a situation in which someone objected to his display of the red, white and blue.

But if it had happened?

“It would have only happened one time,” Lingamfelter said.

Okay, this need to be broken down line-by-line (with some reorganizing of the text for increased brevity):

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter is getting in on the fight over the flying of the American flag.

The Prince William County Republican plans to submit a bill for next year’s General Assembly session that would require homeowners associations to allow combat veterans decorated for valor to fly the flag in any manner permitted by federal law.

Lingamfelter hasn’t finalized the language of his bill, and he noted that he’s open to broadening its scope to include more than just decorated veterans.

Lingamfelter is still “open” as to who will be covered by his proposed edict, but the congressional proposal only covered Medal of Honor recipients. What about those lowly combat veterans that only managed to get a Silver or Bronze Star (sarcasm!)? What about those that only receive a Purple Heart or Distinguished Serve Medal? What about those that didn’t serve in a combat? What about reservists and National Guard members? What about the families of all of the above? What about an average person that didn’t serve in the military at all? Will all of these people be protected by these edicts (which, interestingly, doesn’t seem to be part of the powers of Congress, at least not in my copy of the United States Constitution)?

I do find it funny as well that all these Republicans are jumping on a bandwagon to create a protected class of individuals that are exempt from the rules of a homeowners association (HOA), an organization that they entered into a contract — voluntarily — with. No one forces you to join a HOA, you make that choice when you decide to move into a particular neighborhood. You choose to give up your rights, while presumably of sound mind, when you enter into a contract with the HOA.

And notably, for Republicans, when it comes to protecting a certain class of people under hate crime legislation, then it’s totally unacceptable to create a class of individuals that are treated differently in the eyes of the law. Or so they would want you to believe.

[…]

Lingamfelter joins a group of supporters that boasts the White House, Democrats including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and both of Virginia’s U.S. senators, as well as Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, the second-ranking Republican in the House.

We call them “statists” here.

[…] He also said he’s open to associations decreeing requirements for residents’ flag display.

“Just don’t tell them they can’t do it,” he said.

And here comes the lying (or the opening of one’s mouth and proving of one’s own ignorance).  The veteran in this case was never told that he couldn’t fly the flag. He was told that he could not erect a flag pole. So, Mr. (or Delegate, or King of Virginia) Lingamfelter, you have now shown yourself to be a liar or completely ignorant.

In terms of Barfoot’s specific situation, Lingamfelter said it’s possible that the association will allow the matter to quietly go away.

“But I’m not going to quietly go away,” he added.

Of course not, you’re a politician, they never go away — quietly or not.

Similarly, he said that he has never faced a situation in which someone objected to his display of the red, white and blue.

But if it had happened?

“It would have only happened one time,” Lingamfelter said.

And what exactly does that mean? Is King of Virginia Lingamfelter saying he would result to violence if someone told him he was violating an HOA rule? Or is he saying he would just use his power as a legislator to exempt him from any rule that he feels like violating?

Questions, questions.

Caroline County Board of Supervisors: Fredericksburg’s public safety is a legislative priority, but not our own.

What passes for a (proposed) legislative platform for this county is laughable (PDF).

If you read through the thing, where at the specific issues facing Caroline County (and, yes, I know it is a regional platform. *snort*)? On the last page, it mentions funding for the HB 599 Program. The HB 599 Program is funding appropriated through the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for local police departments. While some of the incorporated towns in the local counties receive some money, the main recipient of HB 599 locally is the Fredericksburg Police Department. Bowling Green, for instance, received a misery $26,310 of funding in FY06 through HB 599 (PDF).

Where in the legislative platform is the request that Compensation Board funding — which funds the offices of the sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, clerk of the court, treasurer, and commissioner of revenue — not be cut? Where is the request for full-funding of offices that the Compensation Board states are understaffed according to their own standards?

According to the state’s own guidelines, the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office should be getting additional funding for a full-time position for FY10 (while simultaneously being ranked as most in need) (PDF). The Clerk of the Court’s Office should getting an additional position (PDF). The Treasurer’s Office? Two positions (PDF). Commissioner of Revenue? Two positions (PDF).

The most egregious of these are the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Clerk of the Court’s Office. Last year, the Board of Supervisors in its infinite wisdom decide that money should be given to Big Brothers, Big Sisters because a child might be saved (“Won’t someone please think of the children?!”). Seriously, someone (Floyd Thomas) said that. They did all this while refusing to funding an additional position in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. You know, that office that actually prosecutes the people who harm the county’s children and who may in the future harm the county’s children?

And meanwhile in the Clerk of the Court’s Office, the clerk (Ray Campbell) decided, starting July 1, 2009, that they would no longer prepare sentencing reports for the judge. In doing so, the clerk’s office became only the second office in the state to not prepare sentencing reports alongside the city of Richmond.

Because the presiding judge went to the Board of Supervisors stating that they could be sued if they didn’t give him money to hire a clerk (separate of the clerk’s office) to prepare the sentencing reports and because he absolutely had to have the money right then (!!!), the BOS decided to add a full-time clerk’s position (costing $22,000+) on top of a budget that had absolutely zero money to spare.

All this while the county believes that Fredericksburg’s police force is a pressing issue on the county’s legislative platform.

And then we turn to the composite index issues. The composite index is a complicated formula that the Virginia Department of Education uses to determine how much money each jurisdiction should get using several figures, including assessed real-estate values.  The higher the determined value for each county, the more able those counties are supposed to be to fund their school system. In addition, the higher the composite index value, the more money that the jurisdiction has to provide to the system if they want the state’s money.

For years, Caroline County’s composite index has been higher (therefore, we are supposed to be able to fund our schools) than our neighboring counties Spotsylvania and Stafford. That’s right, Caroline is be able to pay for schools than Spotsy and Stafford. While in this biennium (2010–2012) Spotsylvania’s composite index is no long lower than Caroline’s, Stafford’s still is. Caroline’s composite index is .3580, Stafford’s is .3362 (Spotsylvania is at .3594) (PDF).

So, where is this address in the proposed legislative platform? Well, of course, it isn’t. After all, neither Spotsy nor Stafford would be too supportive of a platform that resulted in less money going to themselves.

But the Caroline County Board of Supervisors isn’t Spotsy nor Stafford. Why don’t they tell the Virginia Association of Counties Region 7 to take a hike? Why don’t they worked with places like Lancaster County (composite index of .8000 [Ibid] while half of their school kids are on free or reduced price lunch) to put pressure on the folks in the General Assembly to actually get something done?

Caroline County has three Delegates (one of whom lives in the county) and a State Senator representing their interests (allegedly) in the General Assembly. And Caroline County can not come up with a list of pressing issues without the help of the folks in Spotsy and Stafford? The board nor county staff can’t spend thirty minutes sitting down to identify these issues that are affecting the county and propose a solution to fix them?

Heck, if I can do in less that 30 minutes, they should be able to.

Tim Kaine to call for special session of the General Assembly in light of the SCOTUS decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massacheusetts.

Check it out at Bloggers for Ken Cuccinelli: Tim Kaine Agrees With Ken Cuccinelli, Decides to Call Special Session.

Hack “journalism” from the Capital News Service at VCU.

From WTVR:

And the full YouTube video:

Here’s Dave Albo’s response on the WaPo’s Virginia Politics blog:

Amy: Did it occur to anyone to inquire what was going on at the time? Had the VCU reporter told the full story, she would have mentioned that at that time no votes were being taken, and I actually recall we were in a recess “break” awaiting Senate action. We get on line all the time to respond mostly to constituent inquiries. I get 100’s a day and its tough to keep up. At the time of this report, I was looking at house values in Mason Neck b/c I had a constituent write, all upset about his County Real Estate Tax. But the “reporter” did not give any subject of the report an opportunity to respond. Just a slam piece taken out of context.

And, unfortunately, the video WTVR is from their 5:00 broadcast and not the 11:00 broadcast. When they ran the story at 11:00, there was a comment at the end of the segment from the newscaster that went something like, “When the VCU student tried to contact the Delegates before posting the video, none of the Delegates said that the photos were taken during a recess of the House.”

Um…excuse me, you have to be told that there’s a recess going on when you’re in the House gallery and can see and hear everything going on on the House floor?

I need video of this: Bobby Orrock got booed down by the House of Delegates.

Follow-up to my previous post. From The Washington Post:

This year, there were echoes — distant perhaps — of Webster vs. Clay as delegates debated clotheslines. The energy-saving bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-Fairfax), would have prevented rule-happy homeowner associations from banning clotheslines.

Taking aim at the bill as if wielding a rug-beater, Del. Robert D. “Bobby” Orrock Sr. (R-Caroline) said Northern Virginians might regret seeing clotheslines strung from “tree to tree to tree.”

“Go ahead and pass this, and then when your folks come screaming that this looks like a West Virginia subdivision,” Orrock began, but boos cut him off.

Christ, what an elitist.

Why is Bobby Orrock supporting legislation that has been declared unconstitutional in Ohio?

As “theRadical” pointed out in a comment on my post about Bobby Orrock’s proposed voted registration legislation, the portion of Bobby Orrock’s legislation which makes it illegal to pay someone to collect signatures or distribute voter registration forms on a per-signature rate has been ruled unconstitutional in Ohio (specifically by the Southern District of Ohio and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals).

The state of Ohio appealed the Sixth Circuit’s opinion and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case on November 17, 2008.

Unfortunately, cases from the Sixth Circuit don’t directly affect Virginia since Virginia is part of the Fourth Circuit, but the Supreme Court obviously didn’t disagree with the Sixth Circuit’s opinion in the matter since they refused to hear Ohio’s request for an appeal.


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