Virginia Newspaper Apologizes for Whiteness Before Reporting on Discrimination

A Virginia newspaper apologized for the racial makeup of its reporters who are publishing a series on post-Jim Crow housing discrimination in Norfolk. 

“For full disclosure, the people behind this reporting are white and benefit from numerous privileges that the disadvantaged populations highlighted in this project do not, ‘So we have blind spots,'” The Virginian-Pilot said in a Thursday tweet. “Meet the ‘Dividing Lines’ team here:” 

Read More

Delegate Mullin Introduces HB 2263 to End Virginia’s Death Penalty

Delegate Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) has introduced HB 2263, which would abolish the death penalty in Virginia. The bill has attracted support from leading Democratic policy makers; co-patrons of the bill are House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), attorney general candidate Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), gubernatorial candidate Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas), and 40-year House member Delegate Ken Plum (D-Fairfax). In his 2021 State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Ralph Northam also advocated ending the death penalty.

Read More

Virginia GOP Moves Forward with Nominating Convention Amidst Chaos and Intense Division

After another stalemate between pro-primary and pro-convention factions of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC), Chairman Rich Anderson said he will move forward with plans for a convention.

“The majority of the SCC voted today for a third time to conduct an assembled in-person Republican State Convention. Our hope is to get SCC buy-in in a later meeting on proposals to transform it to an unassembled state convention, like we did last summer,” Anderson told The Virginia Star.

Read More

Virginia House Public Safety Subcommittee Killing Bills Limiting Executive Order Power

  Delegate Kirk Cox’s House bill limiting the length of executive orders will likely die in committee after a Public Safety subcommittee recommended tabling the bill. HB 2087, if passed, would limit the length of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders to just 45 days unless the General Assembly passes an…

Read More

Georgia Rep. Taylor Greene Files Articles of Impeachment Against Biden

A freshman U.S. House member from Georgia Thursday filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden, on Biden’s first full day in office. 

“I’m filing articles of impeachment against Joe Biden for abuse of power, and he used the office of the Vice Presidency – he abused the power by threatening to withhold money – withhold foreign aid to Ukraine in order help his son, Hunter Biden in his business scams in a Ukrainian energy company,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) told Real America’s News. 

Read More

Commentary: John Fredericks NFL Playoff Picks – Championship Weekend

Batting .500 is great if you’re a baseball hitter. Not so much if you are picking football games against the spread. After 10 picks, we are an unimpressive 5-5, and our best bets are 1-1. So we still have our stake available, minus the vig, which is typically 10 percent. So if you bet $100 on each of the ten playoffs games we touted, you would now be down $50. Easy to make up. Now get ready to go 2-0 this weekend.  

Read More

Six Gun Bills Move Through Virginia House Committee

The House Committee on Public Safety (CPS) approved several firearms bills on Friday morning.  The bills include HB 1909, which allows school boards to declare non-school zone property owned by the board as a gun free zone; HB 1992, which prohibits people convicted of assault from owning or possessing a firearm; HB 2128, which increases the firearm sale background check delay from three days to five days, HB2276 which bans plastic firearms and 80 percent receivers; and HB 2295, which bans carrying firearms or stun weapons on Capitol grounds in Richmond. HB2081, which bans carrying firearms at a polling place, passed out of the Privileges and Elections Committee on Wednesday.

Read More

Virginia Senate to Vote on Legislation Giving Certain Health Insurance Plans Abortion Coverage Option

The Senate of Virginia on Friday will vote to pass legislation out of the body that would allow for private health insurance companies offering plans through the state exchange to have the option for abortion coverage.

Senate Bill 1276 was introduced by Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City), who is also a gubernatorial candidate seeking the Democratic nomination, and co-sponsored by three other Democratic legislators.

Read More

Northam Considering Proposal to Make Workplace COVID-19 Requirements, Including Making Masks Permanent

The Virginia Safety and Health Codes board voted on January 13 to make the COVID-19 Emergency Standard permanent, according to a notice at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall. The proposed permanent standard still needs approval from Governor Ralph Northam.

Read More

Virginia Senators Push Bill to Help Speed Up State Vaccination Effort

A bill to help Virginia speed up its mass vaccination effort by expanding who is allowed to inoculate citizens and where those injections can occur is being pushed by a bipartisan group of state Senators.

Flanked by various medical professionals, Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City), Todd Pillion (R-Washington), Jennifer Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach), George Barker (D-Fairfax) and Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) held a news conference to discuss Senate Bill 1445 in Richmond on Thursday.

Read More

Republican Party of Virginia to Vote Again on Nomination Method

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) plans to meet once again on Saturday in an effort to pick a nomination method. SCC members have already voted twice to hold a convention, but a necessary amendment allowing for an unassembled convention was blocked, since the amendment needed three-fourths approval to pass.

Read More

Virginia Senate Committee Passes Censure Resolution on Amanda Chase

The Virginia Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections passed a resolution to censure Republican gubernatorial candidate Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) on Tuesday regarding her conduct and comments on the January 6 Capitol riots in Washington D.C.

Introduced by Sen. John Bell (D-Loudon) and sponsored by nine other Democratic legislators, Senate Resolution 91 was reported out of the committee by a 9-6 vote straight down party lines and will now be considered on the floor in the coming days.

Read More

Senator McClellan Unveils Universal Child Care and Early Learning Plan as Part of Gubernatorial Campaign

Democratic candidate for governor and Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City) released a plan central to her campaign last Friday that seeks to provide affordable and quality child care for every family with a kid under the age of five by 2025.

Under McClellan’s Universal Child Care & Early Learning Plan, Virginia families that make below or up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level would receive free child care, no matter the family size. While families making above that poverty threshold would have to pay for child care costs, but no more than 7 percent of their annual income.

Read More

Virginia House Republicans Blast Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

House of Delegate Republicans have repeatedly begun the regular sessions this week by blasting Virginia’s government for the slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

On Monday, GOP Caucus Chairman Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford) said, “Madam Speaker, as we meet today, Virginia’s government is struggling in a critical life-saving mission. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia has received over 850,000 doses of the COVID vaccine, but we have administered fewer than 250,000 doses. That performance ranks us among the lowest of the fifty states.”

Read More

Virginia House Passes ‘Good Apples Bill’ Requiring Officers to Report Misconduct to Supervisors

The House of Delegates passed Delegate Mark Levine’s (D-Arlington) “Good Apples Bill,” which requires law enforcement officers to report acts of wrongdoing committed by other on-duty officers. It also requires officers to render aid if they witness someone suffering a serious bodily injury, and it expands a ban on biased-based profiling to include profiling by sexual orientation. In a vote Wednesday, HB 1948 passed 57-42, with three Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the bill.

Read More

Virginia House Moves to Expand Ballot Drop Boxes, Allow Ballot ‘Curing’

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a voting reform bill on Tuesday. Key provisions of HB 1888 require ballot drop boxes in all localities, allow voters to “cure” or fix errors on their own absentee ballots, and require elections officials to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day. Additionally, it requires localities to provide ballot marking tools and  screen reader assistance technology for visually impaired voters.

Read More

Democrats Introduce Two House Bills Expanding Abortion Coverage

Virginia House Democrats have introduced two bills expanding healthcare coverage of abortions. HB 1922, introduced by Delegate Cia Price (D-Newport News) would expand Medicaid abortion coverage and require private employers who offer health coverage to cover abortions. HB 1896, introduced by Delegate Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville), removes a Virginia prohibition of abortion coverage under Obamacare.

Read More

Legislation Abolishing Death Penalty Advanced by Virginia Senate Committee

Legislation to abolish the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Virginia was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday morning.

Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), Senate Bill 1165 was reported out of the committee by a vote of 10-4, mostly along party lines with Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County), chief co-patron on the measure, the only Republican who voted in support.

Read More

Virginia Senate Strips Amanda Chase of Final Committee Assignment

The Virginia state Senate on Wednesday voted to update the body’s standing committees for 2021 and simultaneously stripped GOP gubernatorial candidate Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) of her lone committee assignment from the previous year, resulting in a lengthy debate that highlighted the disconnect between the lawmaker and her colleagues.

The standing committee’s membership was updated at the request of Republicans in order to fill the vacancies left by the late Sen. Ben Chafin, who passed away from COVID-19 complications on New Year’s Day, according to Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

Read More

Second Amendment Advocates Pour Into Virginia’s Capitol for Lobby Day 2021

Buses, a decommissioned ambulance, and lots of cars and trucks traveled through Richmond for hours on Monday afternoon as part of the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s (VCDL) Lobby Day 2021 demonstration. Most vehicles sported VCDL flags and decals; a few also waved Trump flags and other paraphernalia.

“When the first bus came, it just seemed like car after car after car, decked out, horns honking, people waving,” VCDL President Phil Van Cleave said. Car caravans came from all corners of the Commonwealth.

Read More

Year-End Campaign Fundraising Haul for Virginia’s Statewide Candidates Shows McAuliffe Far Ahead, Followed by Foy

With Virginia’s statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general drawing ever closer, candidates’ campaign finance reports literally show who has been busy fundraising, but can also offer an early glimpse of their viability in the races. 

On Saturday, year-end fundraising reports, covering the second half of last year from July 1st to December 31st, for each statewide candidate were released to the public. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) compiled the numbers and listed the cash on hand for each candidate.

Read More

Northam Administration Moves to Tax PPP Loan Recipients

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s administration has recommended to the General Assembly that the state not conform its tax code to specific provisions included in the recently-signed federal emergency relief bill that gives businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans a significant tax benefit.

Under the provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), signed into law by President Donald Trump in late December, businesses in the Commonwealth that got forgivable PPP loans would not be taxed on that income and could deduct their business expenses covered by the federal payment.

Read More

Chesterfield Supervisor Leslie Haley Announces Run for Attorney General

Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors member and lawyer Leslie Haley announced her bid for the Republican nomination in the 2021 Virginia attorney general election on Thursday. 

Haley, who has represented the Midlothian District on the board since 2016 with stints as both the chair and vice chair, launched her campaign to be the Commonwealth’s top attorney through a press release and short video. 

Read More

Democrats Call for pro-Trump Virginia Redistricting Appointee to Resign

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is calling for Trump supporter Jose Feliciano Jr. to resign from Virginia’s redistricting commission. Feliciano is one of Republicans’ four citizen appointees, and is under fire for comments he allegedly made on Twitter.

Read More

Virginia Delegate Jones Files Bill to Automatically Reinstate Felon Voting Rights

Attorney General candidate Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) has pre-filed a bill that would automatically reinstate felons’ voting rights after completion of their sentence. Governor Ralph Northam is also pushing for passage of the bill, HJ546.

“If you break the law in Virginia, you’ll be punished. But right now, part of the punishment follows you for the rest of your life—even after you’ve paid your debt to society. ” Northam said in his State of The Commonwealth address. “You lose your civil rights—like the right to vote—and you don’t get them back unless the governor acts to give them back.

Read More

Pro-Gun Rights Car Caravan Planned for Lobby Day

Lobby Day, the annual tradition where Virginians from across the state gather in Richmond to engage lawmakers on pressing issues, is going to look quite different this year.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) Lobby Day 2021 is set to take place on Monday in Richmond, but this year, instead of a massive gathering of mostly armed individuals at the Capitol, the gun-rights advocacy group is organizing a car caravan through the heart of the city.

Read More

Additional Walgreens in Virginia to Offer Free COVID-19 Antigen Testing, Health Department Says

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced on Thursday that it is expanding its partnership with Walgreens to offer Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen COVID-19 testing for free at specific locations throughout the Commonwealth, according to a press release from the agency.

Before the expanded agreement only four Walgreens in the state were providing the drive-through tests, but now that number has increased to 15 select locations, the release said.

Read More

After Being Attacked for Attending Trump Rally, Virginia Doughnut Shop Receives Big Boost in Business

Chesapeake doughnut shop Amazing Glaze was flooded with negative reviews and threatening phone calls after owner Mary Jane Hamblin’s husband attended the January 6 Trump rally in D.C. Although her husband was not involved in the subsequent riot at the capitol, internet reviewers attacked her business. But after media picked up the story, Amazing Glaze was flooded with customers and supporters.

Read More

Republican Party of Virginia Fails to Clarify Nomination Process

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) failed to clarify the nominating method for its 2021 candidates in a meeting Saturday.

SCC members voted again to approve a convention, making it contingent on passing an amendment allowing an unassembled convention based on Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 restrictions. The convention nomination method was first passed by the SCC on December 6 by a 42-30 majority. On Saturday, the amendment got a 41-30 majority but less than the three-fourths approval required by party rules. The SCC tabled the issue until a future meeting, tentatively planned for next Saturday.

Read More

Famous Virginia High School Changing Name, George Floyd Among List of Contenders

A famous Virginia high school is changing its name, and among the list of contenders is a prominent figure of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“Students at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., have submitted more than 50 options as the school seeks a new name, among them naming it after notable individuals such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd and even Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died following last week’s riots in Washington,” according to The Hill.

Read More

Court Hears Virginia Lawsuit by Christian Wedding Photographer

Attorneys representing Christian wedding photographer Bob Updegrove spoke before the Eastern District Court of Virginia on Friday, where they argued that the pro-LGBTQ Virginia Values Act threatened Updegrove’s freedom of religion.

Read More

Henrico Public Schools Delays In-person Learning for All Grades Due to COVID-19 Numbers

Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) on Tuesday announced that it is delaying in-person learning for all grade levels indefinitely because of local coronavirus numbers, just a week after pushing back the return to classrooms for elementary school students.

In an online message to families, Superintendent Amy Cashwell initially said the delay had to do with the school division’s nurses being pulled away from their regular duties to assist in administering vaccinations for teachers and other Virginians included within Phase 1b of the state’s plan.

Read More

Virginia Governor Expands Eligibility for Phase 1b COVID-19 Vaccinations

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has expanded the eligibility for Phase 1b of the state’s vaccination effort to include people 65 and up as well as those between the ages of 16 to 64 who have high-risk medical conditions, he announced during a COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday. 

“This means about half of Virginia is now eligible to receive the vaccine,” the governor said. “That’s a major logistical effort and it is not going to happen overnight. Everyone will need to be patient; it’s going to happen as fast as it can be done.” 

Read More

Republican Party of Virginia Reconsidering Choice of Nominating Convention

After a month of backlash to the vote to hold a nominating convention instead of a primary, the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) will revisit the decision on Saturday. If the convention is re-confirmed, the SCC will also vote on whether or not to hold an unassembled convention. An unassembled convention was promised during the vote for a convention, but formalizing the unassembled feature requires a separate vote.

Read More

Tim Anderson Sues Virginia Governor Over Senate District Special Election

Prominent Virginia Beach attorney and House of Delegates candidate Tim Anderson filed a lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam (D) on Wednesday over the 38th Senatorial District special election set for later this year. 

The 38th District was previously occupied by the late Senator Ben Chafin, who died of COVID-19 complications at the beginning of the year, and on Tuesday Northam issued a March 23rd, 2021, date for the election to determine a replacement.

Read More

Commentary: Virginia Governor Flouts Law, Leaves GOP Senate Seat Vacant to Ensure Unchecked Progressive Dominance

Virginia’s state senate had a narrow Democratic majority, with 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Then, on Jan. 1, Republican State Senator Ben Chafin died. Virginia’s Democratic governor deliberately delayed filling the seat, so that progressive bills will be able to pass the state legislature more easily, and without being moderated by the amendment process.

Read More

Town of Blacksburg Passes Gun Ban

The Blacksburg Town Council unanimously passed a resolution banning guns on town property including in buildings and parks, effective March 1.

In the Tuesday meeting, Council member Susan Anderson said she was on campus during the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. “After I walked home later that day, I remember asking my husband, ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

Read More

Democrats Pressure Virginia Delegate LaRock to Resign for Questioning Election Results

Delegate Dave LaRock (R-Hamilton) is under fire from Democrats after he called for Vice President Pence to nullify the 2020 General Election and attended the January 6 pro-Trump rally that turned violent. Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall, the Loudoun chapter of the NAACP, and three northern Virginia Democratic chapters are among those demanding LaRock’s resignation. LaRock is one of the last Republican delegates in Northern Virginia.

Read More

Virginia Democratic Senators File Resolution to Censure Amanda Chase

Virginia Senate Democrats filed a resolution on Wednesday to censure GOP gubernatorial candidate and Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) for addressing a crowd and urging action to overturn the 2020 presidential election hours before the Capitol riots in Washington D.C.

The resolution, introduced by Sen. John Bell (D-Loudoun) and co-sponsored by nine other Senate Democrats, formally accuses Chase of “fomenting insurrection against the United States.”

Read More

Virginia Senate Convenes for General Assembly 2021 Regular Session

The Virginia General Assembly 2021 regular session began on Wednesday in Richmond with a relatively standard yet important first meeting of the Democratic-controlled state Senate.

Just as it was during last year’s special session, the Senate and its 39 members met in-person in a socially distanced space at the Science Museum of Virginia while the House of Delegates convened virtually.

Read More

VDH launches Online Tool to Help Determine Virginians’ Vaccine Eligibility

With mass vaccination efforts now a month in, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has released a new online tool to help Virginians determine their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine under the state’s multi-phase plan and when they can get it.

Completing the process is relatively simple and should not take more than 5 minutes maximum. Here is a step-by-step rundown

Read More

Virginia Governor Northam Optimistic About State of the Commonwealth

Speaking in a mostly empty House of Delegates Chamber on Wednesday night, Governor Ralph Northam delivered an optimistic State of the Commonwealth address. In the live-streamed speech, Northam acknowledged the suffering caused by COVID-19 and an economic downturn, but highlighted stories of heroic Virginians from the past year. He touted the progress Virginia’s government made towards progressive goals in 2020, and called for more change.

Read More

Virginia House of Delegates Blocks 45-Day Regular Session

The Virginia House of Delegates voted against extending the regular session from 30 to 45 days on the first day of the regular session. The move by House Republicans to block extending the session means that the Democrat-controlled General Assembly will have a short amount of time to handle standard government business and check off items from their progressive wish list.

Read More

Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Governor to Reopen Virginia’s Schools

Three Virginia state Senators called for Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday to reopen public schools across the Commonwealth and mandate in-person learning as an option for families struggling with virtual instruction. 

Just hours before the General Assembly kicked off its 2021 session, Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond City), Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) and Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) held a press conference to discuss the matter.

Read More

Former Trump Official Sergio de la Peña Joins Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Former Trump official Sergio de la Peña announced Monday that he’s entering the race to be the Republican nominee for Virginia governor. de la Peña served 30 years in the Army, where he reached the rank of colonel. He also served as Trump’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and he says that experience will set him apart from the suddenly crowded field of GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Read More

Virginia Legislators Get Early Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Governor Ralph Northam has moved Virginia legislators into vaccination Phase 1b, meaning they will be among the first eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. That includes members of the House of Delegates, who are holding meetings virtually.

Read More

Virginia Delegate Helmer Pre-Files HB 2020 That Would Mostly Ban Nominating Conventions

Delegate Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) has introduced a bill that would largely ban conventions as a nomination process for political candidates. Effective in 2024, HB 2020 would, with some exceptions, effectively prohibit forms of nomination that exclude voters who might have difficulty making it to a meeting.

Read More

Multi-Millionaire Glenn Youngkin to Run for Virginia Governor

Former business executive and multi-millionaire Glenn Youngkin is planning to join the Virginia governor’s race as a Republican candidate and expected to make an official announcement soon, according to reporting from The Washington Post.

Youngkin, 54, would be the third GOP candidate to declare for the 2021 election and the only conservative hopeful with no experience running for or holding elected office.

Read More

Former Trump Official Sergio de la Peña Joins Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Former Trump official Sergio de la Peña announced Monday that he’s entering the race to be the Republican nominee for Virginia governor. de la Peña served 30 years in the Army, where he reached the rank of colonel. He also served as Trump’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and he says that experience will set him apart from the suddenly crowded field of GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Read More

Virginia Delegate Helmer Pre-Files HB 2020 That Would Mostly Ban Nominating Conventions

Delegate Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) has introduced a bill that would largely ban conventions as a nomination process for political candidates. Effective in 2024, HB 2020 would, with some exceptions, effectively prohibit forms of nomination that exclude voters who might have difficulty making it to a meeting.

Read More