Posts belonging to Category Virginia



John Lampmann: Serious candidate? No.

I have halfway been following the race for the Republican nomination in the 99th, especially after Albert Pollard announced that he would not be running for reelection, leaving the presumptive winner to be whoever manages to win the Republican nomination.

One of the candidates that is running is John Lampmann, a resident of Portobago subdivision in northern Caroline County. I always thought the guy was a squish, now I am thinking he’s just an idiot.

I find it bizarre that a man that talks about how he will “[s]hore up protection for our property rights and property values and” “[r]e-create the foundation for more and better jobs that pay a living wage in the Northern Neck”, has been one of the foremost opponents of the special exception permit request by Vulcan and Black Marsh Farms.

Lampmann is an enemy of private property rights and wants to deny the citizens of Caroline 14 full-time jobs and $100,000 annually in tax revenue.

Lampmann: Already Bought and Paid For

Even more bizarre to me is that Lampmann goes on and on ad nauseam about how he is going to fight the “urban special interests”.

Right, the guy that has spent the last six years as a corporate lobbyist is going to fight special interests? To make matters worse, Lampmann is not even honest about what he does for a living referring to his job as a “Washington Representative”. Yes, seriously:

Upon leaving public service, John joined Johnson, Madigan, Peck Bolland & Steward as a Washington Representative for two years.  John now runs his own consulting company where he continues to serve the public interest by helping private organizations make government work for the public good.

To Lampmann, “serv[ing] the public interest” is getting corporate welfare and subsidies for private companies and organizations.

Who have been some of Lampmann’s lobbying clients?

  • AARP, one of the biggest supporters of Obamacare.
  • “Compete America”, a collection of different corporate interests that support issuing more H1-B visas for immigrants. So while Lampmann is talking about how the Northern Neck has no jobs, he has been representing a client that thinks that jobs should go, not to Americans, but immigrants.
  • WilmerHale, a law firm that defended, pro bono, the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold “campaign finance law” before the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled the law to be an unconstitutional violation of the people’s right to freedom of speech.

But here’s my favorite: According to Lampmann’s biography he was the chief of state for Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary for 18 years.

In 2006, after leaving his job as chief of staff, Lampmann was a lobbyist for the “National Music Publishers Association”, a trade association that attempts to get legislation passed seeking tougher penalties for copyright violations. The same year that Lampmann was a lobbyist for the association, his former boss introduced a bill that would have:

The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

It also represents a political setback for critics of expanding copyright law, who have been backing federal legislation that veers in the opposite direction and permits bypassing copy protection for “fair use” purposes. That bill–introduced in 2002 by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat–has been bottled up in a subcommittee ever since.

[…]

But one of the more controversial sections may be the changes to the DMCA. Under current law, Section 1201 of the law generally prohibits distributing or trafficking in any software or hardware that can be used to bypass copy-protection devices. (That section already has been used against a Princeton computer science professor, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and a toner cartridge remanufacturer.)Smith’s measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may “make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess” such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.

[…]

The proposed law scheduled to be introduced by Rep. Smith also does the following:

  • Permits wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft and economic espionage. It would establish a new copyright unit inside the FBI and budgets $20 million on topics including creating “advanced tools of forensic science to investigate” copyright crimes.
  • Amends existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Boosts criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses). The NET Act targets noncommercial piracy including posting copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.
  • Creates civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized must be “destroyed” or otherwise disposed of, for instance at a government auction. Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.
  • Says copyright holders can impound “records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in” infringements.

Draw your own conclusions there.

And speaking of Lampmann’s former boss, Lamar Smith, he thinks that “the liberal media bias” is a gravest threat facing this country, even worst than a recession and a terrorist attack:

Do we want our next Delegate to be a Beltway insider and a corporate lobbyist?

BREAKING HARD: DONNA BLANTON’S APPEAL DENIED, CONVICTION AFFIRMED.

From the Supreme Court of Virginia’s website:

091878 Blanton v. Commonwealth 09/16/2010 In an appeal arising from a prosecution for murder and felonious use of a firearm, defendant’s failure to make a timely motion for a cautionary instruction or mistrial concerning the prosecutor’s comment about the defense evidence failing to show that the defendant was not guilty precludes consideration of the merits of her assignments of error regarding this comment. With respect to the prosecutor’s subsequent comment about the defendant being in jail several days after the events, it cannot be said that the circuit court erred as a matter of law in denying defendant’s mistrial motion. Considering the innocuous nature of this comment under all the circumstances of the case, the circuit court’s cautionary instruction to the jury, and the prosecutor’s corrective statement, the defendant’s rights were clearly not so indelibly prejudiced as to necessitate a new trial. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Will update when I have a chance to read through the opinion.

Why the tea-party “movement” is a joke, part the first in an occasional series.

What is an organization or movement other than a sum of its parts, in this case, its members?

Herman Cain, a business leader and radio host; and Tea Party Patriot co-founder Jenny Beth Martin have joined the roster of speakers for the Virginia Tea Party Convention.

Organizers have invited about two dozen speakers, mostly prominent conservatives, to address the convention Oct. 8-9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

[…]

Martin, who lives in suburban Atlanta, helped launch the Tea Party Patriots organization in early 2009. This year Time Magazine named her to the “Time 100” list of “people who most affect our world.”

Other keynote speakers who have confirmed so far are former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs; Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., founder of Exodus Faith Ministries International and president of a group that promotes Judeo-Christian values; political strategist Dick Morris, and John Fund, a conservative author and columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Jenny Beth Martin? A woman, who along with her husband, declared bankruptcy with over $680,000 in tax debts alone.

Yet SecTreas Timothy Geithner is the devil incarnate to the tea-party folks because he owned the federal government a mere $35,000 by comparison.

Lou Dobbs? Birther.

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr.? A person that espouses a Christian Theological view that this country was founded on Christian values (apparently he never heard of The Enlightenment), rants about the “homosexual political lobby”, supports a total ban on gays serving in the military, and supports a federal marriage amendment to the United States Constitution.

Wait, I thought this whole tea-party think was about fiscal conservatism and limited government? I guess that’s the case until the Christian Fundamentalists on the far-right, who have become part and parcel with the tea-party “movement”, want to impose their beliefs on the whole nation, the Constitution be damned.

Dick Morris? A former Clintonista (you know, the original President that proposed “socialized” health care) who got fired because he was messing around with a prostitute.

Paul Warner Powell executed.

Dead according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He can say “hi” to Mark Evonitz on that special level of hell.

Paul Warner Powell to get the chair on March 18th.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

I’m assuming he’s getting the chair, he chose the chair the last time he was scheduled for execution. If, for some reason, he changes his mind, he’ll get the liquid styrofoam instead.

Another artificial and engineered crisis debunked.

WUSA9: Virginia Nursing Shortage May Be Less Than Expected

And as for all engineered crises (or should that be crisi?), it’s just another attempt to grow the size of government:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said the state has increased access to nurse training programs and made salaries more competitive, resulting in 900 additional nursing graduates since 2006.

“In the last few years, Virginia has made smart, strategic investments to develop our healthcare workforce and we are seeing tremendous results,” Kaine said. “These efforts will not only help to meet the healthcare needs of millions of Virginians, but give people the opportunity to secure a good job in a growing field.”

“Investments” in government lingo means “I just redistributed your money to someone else.”

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?

Does Creigh Deeds et al. know anything about the Fredericksburg-area?

On October 17, 2009, Creigh Deeds, Gov. Tim Kaine, and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jody Wagner will all be appearing in Fredericksburg at the University of Mary Washington at 4:00 p.m.

What else is happening on October 17? Why, the Bowling Green Harvest Festival. Yeah, the same Harvest Festival that attracts around 15,000 people, even if it happens to be raining.

Nice one, Creigh.

For those that are curious: Recalling elected officials in Virginia.

I did a little research (called a Google search in these parts), and I answered my own question from a previous post. First, we don’t have recall elections in this state, but recall trials (seriously). Consult Va. Code § 24.2-233:

Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:

1. For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office, or

2. Upon conviction of a misdemeanor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) or Article 1.1 (§ 18.2-265.1 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 and after all rights of appeal have terminated involving the:

a. Manufacture, sale, gift, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute a controlled substance or marijuana, or

b. Sale, possession with intent to sell, or placing an advertisement for the purpose of selling drug paraphernalia, or

c. Possession of any controlled substance or marijuana, and such conviction under a, b, or c has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of such office, or

3. Upon conviction, and after all rights of appeal have terminated, of a misdemeanor involving a “hate crime” as that term is defined in § 52-8.5 when the conviction has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of such office.

The petition must be signed by a number of registered voters who reside within the jurisdiction of the officer equal to ten percent of the total number of votes cast at the last election for the office that the officer holds.

Any person removed from office under the provisions of subdivision 2 or 3 may not be subsequently subject to the provisions of this section for the same criminal offense.

Va. Code § 24.2-235 deals with procedure; § 24.2-236 allows for suspension of the official pending the hearing and any appeals; § 24.2-237 deals with who will represent the Commonwealth during the hearing; and lastly, § 24.2-238 deals with the costs associated with the petition.

WTF: People linked to al-Qaeda in Spotsylvania County and a (probably unrelated) attempt to bring down Dominion Power lines?

The Jawa Report linked to a copy of a report from the Virginia Fusion Center (PDF) which was posted on the Canadian Free Press‘ website which has these gems in it:

Enclaves of Salafist ideology adherents have been identified in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas.10

[…]

According to 2009 public safety survey data, the counties of Fairfax and Spotsylvania reported awareness of individuals potentially linked to al-Qa’ida living, working, or otherwise linked to their jurisdictions.13

[…]

10 (LES) 2009 VFC Threat Assessment Survey: Fairfax County, City of Falls Church, , Spotsylvania County, VSP Division 1)

[…]

13 (LES) 2009 VFC Threat Assessment Survey:

And those aren’t the only interesting parts. Further in the report, it documents incidents regarding threats to critical infrastructure and includes this incident:

Suspicious activity reports concerning Virginia’s Energy Sector include:

[…]

  • In February 2009, two camp propane tanks at the base of two high voltage Dominion Power tower legs were set on fire in Spotsylvania. The tanks had duct tape over the propane  cylinders, and a separate container had been placed at the base of one of the tower legs and ignited. Numerous wooden matches, a cigarette butt, gasoline, and a light oil substance were also found. According to officials at the scene, if the propane tanks had been approximately 12″ higher and fully engulfed and ignited, the resulting fire could have caused a tower collapse.450

[…]

450 (LES) Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Situational Awareness Bulletin dated February 12, 2009

Pictures of the devices used and the damage caused can be seen on p. 164 of the report as well.

I haven’t read through the whole report but I’ll post anything else interesting I find.


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