Virginia Gov. Northam Blames Drivers for Days-Long I-95 Traffic Jam

Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has not taken any responsibility for Monday and Tuesday’s massive pileup on I-95 in the northern part of the state, choosing instead to blame motorists. 

“We gave warnings, and people need to pay attention to these warnings, and the less people that are on the highways when these storms hit, the better,” Northam told The Washington Post.

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Plastics Manufacturer Expands in Virginia, Eligible for State Aid

A plastics manufacturer, Starplast USA, is setting up a new facility in Chesterfield County and will be eligible to receive state-funded assistance through multiple programs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.

Starplast USA, which is a subsidiary of the Israel-based Starplast, will invest about $17.7 million for its new facility, which is projected to create 300 jobs. The company creates a variety of plastic products, which includes garden storage, houseware and toys. The specific amount of money Starplast will receive from the state is still not clear.

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Youngkin Announces Finance Secretary, Vows Lower Taxes

Glenn Youngkin in crowd during a rally

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his new finance secretary and vowed his team will promote lower taxes and greater fiscal responsibility in Richmond.

The governor-elect’s incoming finance secretary will be Stephen Emery Cummings, the former president and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

“Lowering taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Richmond is a primary focus of our Day One Game Plan, and Steve’s experience and expertise will help make sure we deliver real results for Virginians,” Youngkin said in a statement.

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Gov. Northam Directs Virginia Agencies to Consult Tribal Nations Before Certain Permits

Before Virginia agencies offer permits that could affect environmental, historical and cultural resource protection, they must now consult the commonwealth’s Tribal Nations.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 82, which puts this policy in place. The order is meant to provide the tribes with formal input in these permit decisions to ensure their cultural and environmental concerns are considered before the approval of proposed development projects, according to the governor’s office.

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Gov. Northam: Virginia Should Reach Universal Broadband by 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Virginia is on pace to have universal broadband access throughout the commonwealth by 2024 following a record number of local and private sector applications to match state investments, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.

After the most recent application window closed, the state received 57 applications from 84 localities for about $943 million worth of state funding, which leverages about $1.15 billion worth of private and local matching funds. In total, this amounts to an investment larger than $2 billion, which the governor’s office estimates will connect more than 250,000 homes to broadband internet.

“Broadband is as critical today as electricity was in the last century,” Northam said in a statement. “Making sure more Virginians can get access to it has been a priority since I took office, and the pandemic pushed us all to move even faster. Virginia is now on track to achieve universal broadband by 2024, which means more connections, more investments, easier online learning, and expanded telehealth options, especially in rural Virginia.”

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Virginia Receives $5 Million Grant to Train Shipbuilding Workers

Virginia received a $5 million federal grant to fund a K-12 to university training pipeline intended to produce shipbuilding workers for the Navy, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.

The money, which the Department of Defense awarded to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, will be used to teach skills to students in the Danville and Norfolk areas that would prepare them to work for defense manufacturing industries. It is designed to boost the local workforce in those industries with local people.

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Prominent Virginia Dems Silent on Alleged Loudoun County Rape Coverup

Virginia’s most prominent Democrat Party leaders aren’t talking after the nationwide scandal involving the Loudoun County School District exploded earlier this week.

The Daily Wire reported earlier this week that Scott Smith, the man who was arrested for protesting transgender bathroom policies at a June 22 Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) meeting, has a ninth-grade daughter who was allegedly raped in school bathroom less than one month prior. The girl was allegedly raped by a transgender girl – a biological male – in a school bathroom at Stone Bridge High School.

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Virginia Awards $7.8M in Local Grants for Flood Preparedness

Group of people who work for Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation observing the waterways

Virginia awarded about $7.8 million in state grants for 19 local projects designed to address flooding, sea-level rise and extreme weather, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

Funding for the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund grants is provided through the sale of carbon emission allowances, which began when the state joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in January.

The initiative requires businesses to purchase a certain number of carbon emission allowances depending on how much carbon they emit. The number of carbon emissions allowed is reduced annually. About 45% of the revenues obtained through these sales goes toward the flood preparedness fund.

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Fairfax Dems Use COVID-19 in Attempt to Eliminate Witness Signatures on Absentee Ballots

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, comprised of nine Democrats and one lone Republican, voted in favor this week of a measure that would end the witness signature requirement on absentee ballots. 

They are now asking Gov. Ralph Northam (D) for permission to ignore the requirement, according to Inside NOVA. 

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After Backing McAuliffe in 2013, Virginia Black Caucus Endorses Youngkin

The Hampton Roads Black Caucus (HRBC), a group that endorsed former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in his successful 2013 campaign, has now endorsed McAuliffe’s opponent Glenn Youngkin as the for the same position.  

“I am so honored and humbled, and it just reflects the fact that there is broad-based support for a platform that’s going to bring down our cost of living and cut taxes so people can keep more of their paycheck,” Youngkin said of the endorsement. 

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Youngkin Campaign Reacts to McAuliffe’s Massive Northam Flip-Flop

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign has responded to his Democrat opponent’s apparent change of heart about current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). 

Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who is running for his second non-consecutive term as governor of Virginia, once called on Northam to resign when a yearbook image of the Commonwealth’s governor wearing blackface or a Ku Klux Klan hood reemerged. 

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Richmond Sets Sights on A.P. Hill Statue After Tearing Down Robert E. Lee

AP Hill

After Wednesday’s removal of General Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond, the City Council is setting its sights on the last remaining Confederate statue in town. 

“The Richmond City Council will discuss moving the A.P. Hill monument as well as A.P. Hill’s remains, which are inside the monument,” according to WBBT. “On Sept. 13, the city council will take action to relocate the remains and monument to Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper at the request of A.P. Hill’s descendants.”

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Virginia Democratic Gov. Northam Removes Gen. Robert E. Lee Statue, to Livestream Event

The statue Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, will be taken down Wednesday, amid calls that escalated during last summer’s social justice protests that monuments and other memorials to the South’s Confederate leaders honor the country’s racist history.

The towering Lee statue was erected over 130 years ago.

Numerous other Confederate symbols across the South have already been removed, but largely without public notice, to avoid problems.

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Norfolk State University Paying Students, Staff Who Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Man getting bandaid on vaccination shot

Norfolk State University has announced that it is paying students, faculty and staff to take the COVID-19 vaccine after it imposed a September 20 deadline for vaccination. 

“All validated students who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $500 incentive,” the school said on its website. “All Faculty/Staff who are fully vaccinated and have provided proper proof of vaccination by September 20, 2021, will receive a $1000 incentive.”

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Youngkin Rails Against Northam/McAuliffe Mask Mandates at Southwest Virginia Rally

Claytor Lake, Virginia- Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin railed against the McAuliffe-Northam mask mandates at a rally in Pulaski County on Saturday. Youngkin sat down with The Virginia Star after his rally to discuss school mask mandates.

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Virginia Republicans and Gov. Northam Clash over Current School Mask Requirements

With the new school year less than a month away, politicians are not in agreement on whether Virginia state law requires school divisions to impose mask mandates for students, teachers and faculty.

Gov. Ralph Northam said current law requires school divisions to enforce universal mask requirements, but some Republican leaders have accused him of lying and falsely interpreting the law.

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Virginia Businesses Want More Unemployment Insurance Funding to Avoid Tax Hike

In an effort to prevent a future tax hike on Virginia businesses, Gov. Ralph Northam proposed allocating $862 million in federal relief money to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, but a small business association is warning it might not be enough.

The Unemployment Trust Fund, which provides unemployed Virginians with benefits, is funded primarily through payroll taxes from employers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s fund dried up and the state was forced to borrow money from the federal government. Unless the losses can be fully offset, business taxes would automatically increase to maintain the fund because of the state’s funding formula.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Won’t Mandate Masks, Signaling Bipartisan Response to New COVID Cases

Democrat and Republican governors alike are promising not to implement new mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise again. 

“All Virginians should consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings where there is increased risk of [COVID-19] transmission, as the new [CDC] guidance recommends. This is not a requirement, but a recommendation,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Thursday on Twitter. 

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Virginia Won’t Require Masks at Schools, Encourages Local Mask Rules

Little girl wearing pink mask, hair up in a braid, sitting at a table

Toward the end of the month, a state-imposed mask mandate at Virginia schools will no longer be enforced, but the state’s Department of Health is encouraging school divisions to create mask policies.

On July 25, the public health order forcing schools to require face coverings will expire and will not be renewed. However, the VDH issued guidelines that strongly recommend school divisions impose mask mandates for students, staff and teachers.

“Virginia has followed the science throughout this pandemic, and that’s what we continue to do,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “This guidance takes into consideration recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and will provide necessary flexibility for school divisions while ensuring a safe, healthy, and world-class learning environment for Virginia’s students. Again, I strongly urge every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated. Getting your shot will protect you, your family, and your community—and it is the only way we can beat this pandemic once and for all.”

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Virginia May Provide Subsidies for Business Expansion and Relocation

Ralph Northam

A business that is expanding jobs in Henrico County and another business that is relocating to Pulaski County are eligible to receive state incentives, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced Thursday.

SimpliSafe, a self-installed home security system provider in Henrico, is adding a second operation, which will add 250 jobs.

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Virginia Emergency Ending Could Affect Masks, Remaining COVID-19 Regulations

Young boy getting vaccination

Gov. Ralph Northam intends to let the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency expire June 30, which could affect mask wearing throughout the commonwealth and the remaining restrictions on businesses.

Virginia law normally prohibits a person from covering one’s face with the intent of concealing one’s identity in public spaces, which was put on hold during the state of emergency. According to the Virginia code, a person can only wear a mask in certain situations, which include a legitimate medical reason when advised by a physician or during a health-related state of emergency when the governor expressly waives this section of law.

With the governor ending the state of emergency, it’s unclear whether wearing a mask in public could be grounds for prosecution absent a doctor’s note. The governor has said a person would not be prosecuted for wearing a mask and that he has been in contact with police groups that told him police would not arrest anyone for wearing a mask. The provision that states a person would only be guilty when intending to conceal his or her identity with the mask could be difficult to prove when a person is simply following guidelines from the governor’s office and the Center for Disease Control.

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Turnout in Virginia Democratic Primary Dropped About 11 Percent

Ralph Northam

Voters from around the commonwealth cast their ballots Tuesday to determine which candidate will represent the Democratic Party in Virginia’s 2021 race for governor, but the turnout dropped by about 11% compared to the 2017 primary.

In total, more than 488,100 people voted in the party’s five-candidate primary, compared to 542,858 in 2017’s two-candidate primary. This shows an 11% drop and more than 50,000 fewer votes cast in 2021.

About 8% of Democratic voters turned out for the primary, which is lower than 2017 when about 10% turned out to cast a vote. However, despite the numbers being low compared to the previous election, they are still higher than average when compared to the other most recent gubernatorial primaries.

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Ralph Northam Signs Bill Forcing Some Virginia Universities to Start Reparations Scholarships

Ralph Northam

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill requiring several universities to start programs benefiting descendants of slave laborers.

The “Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program” was established “for the purpose of reckoning with the history of the Commonwealth” and “acknowledging that the foundational success of several public institutions of higher education was based on the labor of enslaved individuals.”

The bill — signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) on May 5 — forces Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and the College of William and Mary to implement the program “with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases.”

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Commentary: After Wrecking The Economy, Northam Finally Lifts (Most) COVID Restrictions

One thing proved certain.

When the nation’s only doctor cum governor was thrust into greatness, Northam had a chance to be a physician.

Instead, Northam was every bit the live-birth abortionist he advertised being long before his blackface scandal.

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Virginia GOP Senators Tell Northam to End Mask Mandate

The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus issued a statement via Twitter on Friday urging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to end the state-wide mask mandate.

The statement follows updated guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that allows vaccinated individuals to no longer wear a mask indoors.

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Virginia Approves Nearly $900,000 in Grants to Aid Pharmaceutical Company Expansion

Gov. Ralph Northam approved nearly $900,000 in grants to help a pharmaceutical company expand its operations in Petersburg, Virginia.

The company, AMPAC Fine Chemicals, will expand its current facility on North Normandy Drive in the city. The company will invest about $25 million for the expansion and create 156 new jobs.

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Virginia Awards $6.3 Million in Workforce Development, Other Grants

Arlington, Virginia

Virginia has awarded $6.3 million worth of grants designed to spur economic growth, which includes workforce development grants, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.

The money will be dispersed among 15 projects, which include workforce development, site development and infrastructure, entrepreneurial ecosystems and COVID-19 recovery efforts. This includes eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven funded through the GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program.

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$270 Million in Farmland Preservation Grants Awarded to Five Virginia Localities

Virginia will distribute $270,000 in farmland preservation grants to five localities, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced this week.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reminded how important Virginia’s farms are to getting food into our stores and onto our tables,” Northam said in a statement. “In addition to being a vital part of our history, agriculture is central to our growing economy and maintaining the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in our Commonwealth. Partnering with local governments to preserve critical working landscapes and protect our abundant natural resources is key to maximizing the conservation impact of state funds.”

The commonwealth will use the Purchase of Development Rights programs to match local government funding to permanently preserve farmland. The program gives incentives to landowners who protect their working lands and it lets localities limit development on priority farm and forest land.

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Lt. Gov. Candidate Winsome Sears Calls for End of Virginia Mask Mandate, Opponent Lance Allen Fires Back

Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears announced that she is asking for Virginia to remove the “mask mandate” that has been instituted by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. In a video posted to Facebook, former Delegate Sears announced that she will be publicly calling for Governor Northam to remove the mandate to wear a face mask to enter Virginia businesses, open schools, and open Virginia businesses at full capacity.

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Virginia Leaders Mourn Sudden Passing of Dominion Energy Chairman and Philanthropist Tom Farrell

Tom Farrell

Dominion Energy Chairman and Virginia philanthropist Thomas F. “Tom” Farrell II has died, causing the Commonwealth of Virginia and it’s political leaders to mourn the loss of one of the most powerful businessmen in Virginia history. Farrell, age 66, passed away due to cancer on Friday, one day after relinquishing the Chairmanship of the company he had steered from 2007 to 2020. Mr. Farrell and his family have heavily influenced some of the most important business and political decisions in the Commonwealth.

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Left Wing Blog Drops ‘Believe All Women’, Says Cuomo Shouldn’t Resign

Andrew Cuomo

A fascinating article in the far-left blog Virginia Mercury says that New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo should not resign amid mounting sexual harassment claims from scores of women, because Virginia’s Democrat Governor Ralph Northam survived his own racism scandal. 

According to the blog, persuing and implementing the left-wing agenda is more important than Democrat politicians continuing their charade of signalling virtue on issues like women’s rights and anti-racism. 

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Virginia Extends Tax Filing Deadline to Mid-May, Encourages Electronic Filing

small business taxes

The deadline for filing and paying individual income taxes in Virginia has been extended until May 17, 2021 to coincide with the federal government’s extension on the same date, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced Friday.

“Aligning Virginia’s filing and payment deadline with the federal government will provide additional flexibility and simplify the process for taxpayers,” Northam said in a statement. “Even with this extended deadline, we encourage Virginians to file as soon as possible so we can get people the refunds they are entitled to while also protecting the Commonwealth’s strong fiscal footing.”

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Virginia Directing $2.6 Million to Prevent Evictions

Virginia will award $2.6 million in grants to help prevent evictions in highly needed areas, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.

Funding will help build capacity and implement eviction prevention and diversion programs created to address underlying causes of eviction. Money will go to the 14 localities the state identified as having the highest eviction rates. The grants will be awarded through a new pilot program called the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) Program.

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Gov. Northam Claims ‘Revenue Picture Remains Stable’ Despite Double-Digit Drops in Virginia Tax Collections

Despite a double-digit percentage drop in payroll taxes in January and a dip in overall General Fund collections, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state’s revenue remains stable.

The state’s January 2021 revenue report showed payroll withholding taxes down 12.6% for the month compared with last January, but the state said the decrease was expected because of one less deposit day compared with a year ago. The report said collections of the sales and use taxes, showing December sales, rose 5.6% in January, and the combined December and January receipts rose 5.4% over the same time from a year ago.

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Rep. Good Asks Virginia Gov. Northam to Loosen COVID Restrictions in Letter

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA-05) is leading Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation in asking Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to loosen COVID-19 restrictions.

In a letter co-signed by Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-VA-01), Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), and Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Good asked Northam Monday on behalf of his constituents to give them a reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions, and allow them to get back to work. 

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Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Abolish Death Penalty

Virginia is one step closer to abolishing the death penalty after a bill to do so passed the Senate Thursday. 

SB 1165 passed by a vote of 21-17 along party lines, with one GOP Senator Bill Stanley (R-20th District) abstaining. Stanley originally co-sponsored the bill, but wanted to add a provision that would ensure murderers convicted of aggravated offenses would never be allowed out of prison. 

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Virginia Legislature Moving Forward with Constitutional Amendment to Give Felons Voting Rights

Virginia’s House Majority Leader celebrated Wednesday morning after a bill she introduced passed through committee. 

“What a great way to start the day!” Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-VA-46) said on Twitter. “My proposed constitutional amendment that will put an end to the disenfranchisement of felons has passed out of the Privileges and Elections Committee and is on its way to the house floor!”

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Virginia Gov. Northam Supports Ending ‘Inequitable’ Death Penalty as House Bill Passes

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) showed his support Friday as a bill that would end the death penalty in the state passed through a subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“The use of capital punishment has been inequitable. The administration strongly supports HB 2263 and abolishing the death penalty. The Office of [Gov. Northam],” Del. Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) said on Twitter, attributing the statement to Northam’s office. 

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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.

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Virginia Mandates Police Receive Anti-Racism Training, Bans No Knock Warrants

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed over a dozen police reforms into law, including mandated anti-racism training for law enforcement and a ban on no-knock warrants.

Senate Bill 5030, which was passed Wednesday, “creates statewide minimum training standards” on “awareness of racism” and “biased profiling,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. The ordinance makes the Commonwealth the third state in the nation to ban no-knock raids, and the legislation also forbids local departments from acquiring “grenades, weaponized aircraft and high caliber rifles” in an effort to demilitarize, Northam’s team wrote.

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FBI: Groups Also Discussed Kidnapping Virginia Governor

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing for a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor.

Special Agent Richard Trask also revealed new details about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to arrest and charge six men last week in the plot aimed at Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Trump Will Win Virginia, Delegation Chairman Says Following Poll Showing Biden and President in 5 Point Race

A new poll shows Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by only 5 points, nearly at the margin of error of 3.9 percent, but the president’s delegation chairman says that does not factor in Trump’s grassroots effort.

The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University released the poll, which is available here.

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Despite Allegations, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax Enters Race for Governor

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax formally kicked off his campaign for governor Saturday, a year after facing two allegations of sexual assault.

Fairfax delivered a campaign speech at the Old Court House in Fairfax in northern Virginia.

In February 2019, Fairfax faced calls for his resignation from fellow Democrats after two women publicly accused him of sexual assault.

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As Richmond Burns, Mayor Stoney’s Top Priority Is to Let People Get Stoned

Even as rioting damages large sections of Richmond and the Virginia General Assembly convenes in a special session, Mayor Levar Stoney wants lawmakers to take action — not on fighting lawlessness, but to help people get stoned.

Stoney used his bully pulpit to call for the Assembly to legalize marijuana.

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Gov. Northam Requests Ban on Evictions in Virginia, but Economic Impact Draws Concern

Gov. Ralph Northam is asking the Virginia Supreme Court to extend a ban on evictions until Sept. 7 amid thousands of pending cases, but some critics worry about the economic impact.

The ban was first implemented earlier this year to prevent Virginians from losing their homes because of the economic hardships caused by the shutdown over COVID-19. With hardships continuing statewide and the governor pulling back on the reopening of Hampton Roads, he has requested an extension.

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