General Assembly Reconvenes Today

Veto Session starts today at 12noon. Delegate Rob Bell sent out an email last night briefly describing today’s session, which includes a link to the General Assembly’s live video feed, copied and pasted below.

McAuliffe has bragged to the media that he has vetoed more bills than any Governor in the history of Virginia. McAuliffe has also offered a budget amendment that would empower him to expand Medicaid in Virginia under Obamacare.

In addition to his 38 other vetoes, McAuliffe vetoed two of my bills. The first, House Bill 2343, would require state officials to provide local registrars with the list of their voters who are also registered to vote in another state. The second, House Bill 1578, is the “Tebow Bill,” which would permit schools to let homeschoolers play on high school athletic teams.

For a summary of all Governor McAuliffe’s vetoes, click here.

Not surprisingly, every single veto is of a Republican bill. Some represented years of work, and of course had to pass both houses to even reach the Governor’s desk. We will need 2/3 vote to pass any of these bills — which means we will need votes from some Democrats to be successful. You can follow the floor debate [starting Wednesday April 5 at 12noon] here.

Richmond 3.

RPV Response To McAuliffe’s SOTC

The Republican Party of Virginia’s chairman John Whitbeck released the following statement in response to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s annual state of the commonwealth address, also linked here;

“Forced to stay in Richmond for one final session instead of being whisked away into the Hillary Clinton administration, Terry McAuliffe is trying to build a political legacy, something that he could be remembered for other than booze and investigations.”

“Unfortunately, he remains more focused on his political ambitions, anointing his chosen successor, and playing partisan games rather than doing the job of Governor and solving the challenges the hard working people of Virginia face.”

“Instead of working to solve the problems he has admitted instead he huddled with Obama and Nancy Pelosi to plot out a vast national network to return Democrats to power, and is now trying to bring that plan to Virginia under the guise or reform to hide his true agenda – one that has the full support of Ralph Northam.

“In fact, one of Terry McAuliffe’s partners in this effort will unveil their plan at the ultra liberal Center for American progress – where ultra-liberal Tom Perriello landed after being fired by voters in the 5th Congressional District.”

“From day one of his administration, this Governor has been all in to build out the Obama-Clinton vision of governance in our Commonwealth. While he lectures on ethics, he remains under investigation by the FBI. While he talks about the urgent need to reform our economic development efforts he fails to mention his own failures that cost the taxpayers millions.”

“Voters have had more than enough of failure and ham-fisted management in Richmond. Virginians have had enough of his political posturing and shady deals. In the end, Terry McAuliffe’s true legacy will be one of craft beer – and a Republican sweep this November.”

RPV banner 2.

Friday Funnies

Governor Terry McAuliffe has lost his mind. He took to Twitter this week to brag about firing Hillary Clinton’s staff and volunteers. What a loose cannon. Don’t invite T-Mac to your campaign office. Of course, the below tweet could be a typo, we didn’t check.

tmac fires hillary staff.

Democrats Distance Themselves From McAuliffe

The FBI investigation of Terry McAuliffe’s campaign donations is already having an effect on the governor’s activities and public perception. T-Mac was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser in Ohio for Ted Strickland, but has now decided to cancel this trip. McAuliffe said he “didn’t want any distractions” for his fellow Democrat. We’ve seen this before.

This is now the second consecutive time Virginia’s governor has been blacklisted by his fellow Party members who wanted to avoid any guilty-by-association labels. When Bob McDonnell was being investigated his lack of help with fundraising and messaging really hurt Republican candidates in 2013. A siting governor headlining events and attracting attention is a huge asset for raising money and helping with name ID for the whole Republican ticket. But instead of Republicans having that as ammunition in our arsenal, we had to keep our ticket at a distance from our own governor and it hurt us at the ballot box as we saw a Democratic sweep of the three statewide offices.

Maybe this cause and effect will repeat itself in 2017. Maybe T-Mac’s dirty tricks will be exposed and he is indicted, thus leaving the Democratic brand in turmoil and the GOP sweep statewide. Or this could also mean that T-Mac would have to step out, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam then repudiates T-Mac hard, and then Northam runs for governor as governor, giving him an incumbency advantage, to a certain degree, that is uncommon in Virginia. And for T-Mac the consequences are even more problematic. In addition to any criminal charges and resulting punishment, this investigation could drag on for a while and should Hillary Clinton win in November then this investigation could stop T-Mac from joining his close friend in the White House.

Terry McAuliffe has already become a “distraction.” When the same thing happened to Bob McDonnell the GOP struggled to adjust. The Democrats now find themselves in the same shoes. How they respond will be a significant element in 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

T Mac and Bob.

McAuliffe Under FBI Investigation

The FBI has “an active and ongoing” investigation into Governor Terry McAuliffe’s campaign donations. News broke today that the FBI is looking into large donations made by Wang Wenliang, whose status as either a dual citizen of America and China or just a Chinese national is in dispute. Wang is also a large dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Slick Terry has been investigated before, so he knows how to weasel is way out of legal troubles, but maybe this investigation, which could drag on into next year, could stop McAuliffe from grabbing a cabinet seat should his good friend Hillary Clinton win in November.

This news comes the same day Republicans in the General Assembly filed suit against McAuliffe for his unilateral action in restoring voting rights for over 200,000 felons. But the governor’s official website says something different. The headline on the website for McAuliffe’s statement on the law suit reads “Governor McAuliffe Statement on Republican Lawsuit to Preserve Voter Disenfranchisement.” Why doesn’t it say McAuliffe’s Statement on Republican Lawsuit Challenging the Constitutionality of Unilateral Executive Action in Restoration of Voting Rights for Felons? Too descriptive? Or not enough partisan, one-sided rhetoric? Remember now, the official website of Virginia’s governor is a state run method of communication and not a campaign or partisan sounding board.

This governor is a partisan hack. He’ll lie, cheat and steal in campaign finance and he’ll rig the voter rolls any way he can to help Clinton get elected. Let’s hope the FBI investigation is free to operate away from any political influence, but with Clinton so close, that may be tough.

T-Mac and Hillary


Howell And Norment Request Special Session

House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment have sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe requesting a special session of the General Assembly. The Republican leaders want to discuss the governor’s unilateral and unconstitutional restoration of voting rights for over 200,000 felons.

Their letter is pasted below and linked here.

Norment and Howell letter to T Mac


T-Mac Restores Voting Rights For Felons For Hillary

In a move to no doubt fill the voter rolls with as many Democratic votes as possible Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive action today restoring the voting rights of over 200,000 felons.

In a presidential election year with his good friend Hillary Clinton running for her last shot at the White House, T-Mac will do everything he can do to help deliver the Old Dominion. This move, done after the General Assembly has adjourned, is a political power play designed to stuff the ballot box for Clinton.

State Senator and congressional candidate Tom Garrett tweeted that T-Mac’s unilateral action “Does NOT comply with VA law.”

Get Ready For Hillary everyone. T-Mac and his cronies will rig the game for Clinton every chance they get.

Garrett tweet on voting rights for felons.

McAuliffe’s 2016 SOTC Address

Last night Governor Terry McAuliffe gave the 2016 State of the Commonwealth address.

McAuliffe began with nice things. He talked about the economy and “jaabs,” which is how the New Yorker says “jobs.” But then he mentioned he’ll try again to bankrupt us saying he will try to “find a way forward together on the important issue of Medicaid expansion.”

Toward the end the governor decided to flex his muscles a little with, “I am prepared to veto bills that roll back the progress that we have made on marriage equality and women’s access to health care.” And by “health care” in this context McAuliffe means abortion on demand.

Then he offered counterintuitive logic on the 2nd Amendment when he said, “I will also reject proposals that limit this Commonwealth’s ability to keep Virginians safe from gun violence.” Disarming law abiding citizens will keep them safe?

He also highlighted the urgency of giving in to the green lobby saying we need to “react to the very clear and present danger of climate change.” Clear and present danger is a term used to describe a test for the courts to apply to potential limitations on 1st Amendment rights. It is also the title of an exciting movie. Here, the governor got really creative. The term is not, in any way, an accurate way to describe climate and instead is just the latest example of the salesman governor saying what it takes to peddle his wares.

And then McAuliffe went from shady salesman to a downright dishonest political tactician when he said, “Even more important, I do hope that we will treat our newest Supreme Court justice with the respect that she deserves as a jurist who has served our Commonwealth with honor for 22 years. Allowing politics to deny this qualified and distinguished jurist a full 12-year term would send a dangerous message about this Commonwealth’s respect for the independence of the judicial branch.” What a ridiculous thing to say because of all the hyper-partisan political maneuvers made by McAuliffe when he placed this justice on the court through a recess appointment while not consulting with state Republicans. Now he talks about “a dangerous message” and “respect for the independence of the judicial branch.” If McAuliffe had any respect for an independent judiciary or for the traditions of the Virginia way, then we wouldn’t be in this controversy in the first place.

Governor McAuliffe and his “jaabs,” another attempt at bankruptcy through Medicaid expansion, a gun grab, a sky-is-falling push against climate, and a political play on the Supreme Court should make for a very active 60 day session in Richmond. Let’s hope Republicans stay on their toes and effectively push back on these plans.

Link to full text of speech.

virginia flag

The Night Before Christmas in Virginia

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the commonwealth
Not a legislator was stirring, most of them will return in good health
Their bills were hung in the hopper with care
In hopes that enough votes soon would be there
Their constituents were home all snug in their beds
While concerns for the future messed with their heads
Republicans in suits and Democrats along with Chap
Had just settled some deals before taking a nap
When out from Richmond there arose such a clatter
The news media could not figure out what was the matter
Quickly to the internet I opened pages with a flash
Downloaded content and threw out the ads
When what to my wondering eyes did appear
It was Governor McAuliffe drinking a beer
With a new version of Medicaid expansion he thought he was slick
I would have preferred to see jolly St. Nick
Surrounded by Democrats all of the same
He whistled, and shouted, calling his minions by name:
“Now, Saslaw, now Northam now Barker and Wexton
On Toscano, on Bulova, on Sickles and Preston
To the top of the agenda, to the top of the session
Now attack, attack with every possession”
As the Republicans before they did not lie
Then responded with “no chance we’ll let this fly”
Up to the General Assembly the Democrats they flew
With promises of free stuff along with healthcare too
We need to live within our means or we’ll lose our roof
Terry, it ain’t going to work and we have proof
Medicaid will bankrupt us, that’s Terry’s plan
Good thing Republicans have the votes to stop an expand
But Terry’s eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry
I knew he was drunk, his face was red like a cherry
His drunk little mouth was drawn like a bow
I could tell right away his plan was all just for show
With Terry’s broad face and his little round belly
Is he putting whiskey in his breakfast jelly?
He was groggy and lit, a ripe jolly old Governor
And I laughed when I saw him, ‘cause he’ll take long to recover
A wink of his eye and a suggestive move of his head
Soon made me realize we have two more years to dread
He stumbled on his feet and gave his team a whistle
Thank God he doesn’t command any ballistic missiles
But I heard him fall down as he went out of sight
Merry Christmas to all, our drunk Governor ain’t right


In Defense of The Virginia Way

The General Assembly will convene in Richmond today for a special session to comply with a court order to redraw the racially gerrymandered 3rd Congressional District. The timing of this special session is problematic for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who tried to sneak in a State Supreme Court Justice during the recess without consulting the legislature. This brazen move of political gamesmanship will not work because under Virginia law, the General Assembly can take up other matters of business during the special session. So today, the General Assembly will correct McAuliffe’s power play.

What our carpet-bagging, professional fundraiser for a governor has forgotten is what is known in the Old Dominion as The Virginia Way. This is, and has been, a more cordial way to govern.

The Democrats are crying that removing McAuliffe’s pick would be unprecedented in modern Virginia history, which is nearly accurate but deliberately misleading. What really happened is McAuliffe pulled a fast one during a recess to avoid the legislature from weighing in on who the next member of Virginia’s Supreme Court should be. So it is McAuliffe who is breaking precedent, not the legislature. The disingenuous response from McAuliffe’s team is to just hit the usual talking points on partisanship which obviously do not touch on why McAuliffe chose to do what he did. Even Gov. Douglas Wilder called out McAuliffe for failing to handle this the right way.

Virginia’s General Assembly is the longest serving legislature, steep in tradition. It is the job of the legislature to approve the Governor’s nominee to the bench. When a governor ignores either the law or just protocol, then the legislative branch needs to step up and defend The Virginia Way. And fortunately for all of us, Gov. McAuliffe will see The Virginia way in action. Below is a foretelling post from State Senator Steve Martin’s Facebook page on what we can expect today.

Sen Martin on VA supreme court pick

McAuliffe’s New Gig

Governor Terry McAuliffe has a new gig. He will join the head of EMILY’S List as a fundraiser to help the Democratic Governors Association. The Democrats are eyeing more gubernatorial races in an effort to get ahead of the re-districting that will result from the 2020 census.

T-Mac’s true calling is to be a fundraiser. He is a salesman, not a statesman and certainly not a calculating politico, just look at the problem he created for himself with his State Supreme Court pick.

T-Mac knows how to sell the sizzle, but he doesn’t know how to grill the steak.

Right now, T-Mac is priming the commonwealth for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. There is no telling what he’ll do to make sure his close friend is the Democratic nominee and the next president. It is crazy to think that the last time she ran T-Mac was one of the top people running the show and now he is going to do the same, but this time he has the official control of the board of elections in an important swing state. On top of that, he’ll being using his capacity as Virginia’s governor to say ridiculous things to raise money for a nationwide gerrymandering scheme. Just great.

Editor’s Note: Red NoVA’s editorial standards allow the usage of T-Mac as a nickname for Governor Terry McAuliffe because it honors a former pro basketball player of the same nickname who is remembered for failing to deliver on a very boastful statement when he infamously said, “it feels good to be in the second round.” His team went on to blow a big lead and ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs, failing to reach the second round. The T-Mac in the governor’s mansion down in Richmond is similar. They both talk big and bring in a lot of money, but then don’t deliver at the end.

T-Mac looking silly

T-Mac Playing Games with the Ballot Box

Delegate Bob Marshall sent out an email earlier today (copied and pasted below). Governor T-Mac will do what it takes to make sure the Democrats can stuff the ballot boxes. It is too bad that the legality of the ballots do not matter to T-Mac’s election board so long as those ballots have a mark by the Democrats. Tough to win when the game is rigged by a guy that made his bones on finding ways to sidestep every rule in the book. It is great to see Delegate Marshall standing up against T-Mac’s shadiness. This is a serious issue.

“Dear Friends:

Governor Terry McAuliffe and his Board of Elections are attempting to make an end-run around the General Assembly yet again by attempting to change the form to register to vote. The proposed changes will make it easier for non-citizens, those adjudicated to be mentally incapacitated and convicted felons to illegally register to vote.

The current voter registration form requires an applicant to affirmatively indicate by checking boxes on the form that they are U.S. citizens, that they have not been adjudicated to be mentally incapacitated, and are not convicted felons whose voting rights have not been restored. Under current regulation, failing to check these boxes would cause the application to be rejected. However, in most, if not all cases where an application is received in which the boxes are not checked, a letter is sent to the person attempting to register asking them to refile the application making sure that they check the boxes.

The McAuliffe administration has determined that this is too much of a barrier for potential voters and has proposed new regulations that would not allow an application to be rejected for failure to check the boxes. The new form will have an affirmation statement at the bottom above the signature line which will replace the check boxes. Both the public and many voter registrars across the Commonwealth have raised concerns about this change, noting that many people do not read the fine print before signing.

Whether or not you think this change is a big deal you should be concerned about this overstep by the McAuliffe administration. The State Board of Elections does not have the authority under the Virginia Constitution and state law to adopt this change to the voter registration form.

Article II, Section 2 of the Virginia Constitution states:

“Applications to register shall require the applicant to provide the following information on a standard form: full name; date of birth; residence address; social security number, if any;whether the applicant is presently a United States citizen; and such additional information as may be required by law. All applications to register shall be completed by or at the direction of the applicant and signed by the applicant, unless physically disabled.”

Code § 24.2-418 states in part:

“The form of the application to register shall require the applicant to provide the following information: full name; gender; date of birth; social security number, if any; whether the applicant is presently a United States citizen; address of residence in the precinct; place of last previous registration to vote; and whether the applicant has ever been adjudicated incapacitated or convicted of a felony, and if so, under what circumstances the applicant’s right to vote has been restored. The form shall contain a statement that whoever votes more than once in any election in the same or different jurisdictions shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. Unless directed by the applicant or as permitted in § 24.2-411.1 or 24.2-411.2, the registration application shall not be pre-populated with information the applicant is required to provide.”

Therefore, I question whether the State Board of Elections and the McAuliffe administration have the authority to make this change to the voter registration form.

If you are concerned about this proposed change I encourage you to please submit your comments here to the State Board of Elections BEFORE midnight TONIGHT, August 3, 2015.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your help!


Delegate Bob Marshall”

Bob Marshall 2