Former Virginia Democratic Chairman Says McAuliffe’s Missed Signature Gave Him Unfair Primary Advantage

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe failed to sign paperwork to declare his candidacy; the GOP is using the issue to try to disqualify McAuliffe. That outcome is possible but unlikely, according to former Virginia Democratic Chairman Paul Goldman. Goldman is focused on the date the paperwork was filed — March 8. That day, at noon, was the first day candidates could file for the Democratic primary, and the first candidate to file gets to be listed first on the ballot.

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E.W. Jackson, Dick Black, Paul Lott, and Other Conservatives Rally Against Critical Race Theory in Virginia Beach

18 organizations and about 250 people attended an anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) rally at the Virginia Beach town center on Thursday afternoon. Key speakers included former GOP candidate for lieutenant governor Bishop E.W. Jackson, former State Senator Dick Black, and Paul Lott, who is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 10th congressional district.

“My name is E.W. Jackson. I am not an African American, I am an American,” Jackson said.

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Virginia Court Dismisses Senator Louise Lucas’ Defamation Lawsuit Against Tim Anderson

A court has dismissed Senator Louise Lucas’ (D-Portsmouth) defamation lawsuit against Tim Anderson, GOP candidate for the 83rd House of Delegates district. Lucas had sought $20 million in damages alleging that Anderson had falsely said that Lucas caused citizens to pull down the Portsmouth Confederate monument in June 2020.

In a Facebook statement Wednesday, Anderson said, “An elected official suing a citizen who is sharply criticizing the officials actions is not a cause of action for Defamation under Virginia law. Today the Court agreed.”

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Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas

After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.

On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.”

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Michael Bills and Clean Virginia Biggest Losers in Virginia Democratic Primary

Democrats nominated former governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor respectively. Progressive candidates lost both in those races, and down-ballot in the House of Delegates.

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Virginia Democratic Ticket for November: McAuliffe, Herring, and Ayala

Former governor Terry McAuliffe will again be Virginia Democrats’ nominee for governor, according to the Virginia Public Access Project which called the race on Tuesday evening. Incomplete unofficial results showed McAuliffe soundly beating all four of his challengers.

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Primary Day: Democrats Pick Their Ticket, GOP Watches House Primaries in Districts 9, 83

Virginia Democrats have been voting for months, but Tuesday is the final day of voting in the Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor. The races have highlighted a contrast between progressive and establishment wings of the party, with battles over identity, past scandals, and private versus corporate campaign funding. But Tuesday’s voting includes both Democratic and Republican primaries for House of Delegates districts across the state.

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Court Dismisses Chase’s Lawsuit over Censure by the Virginia Senate

The Eastern District Court of Virginia dismissed Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) lawsuit over her censure by the Senate. On Wednesday, Judge Robert Payne granted a motion to dismiss filed by Attorney General Mark Herring on behalf of the Senate and the Clerk of the Senate. In April, Herring argued that the Senate and the Clerk have sovereign immunity and that the Senate’s decision to censure is a “non-justiciable” political question.

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Lieutenant Governor Candidate Glenn Davis Sues over Text Message Sent to Convention Delegates

Lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) is suing “Jane Doe” over an anonymous text message sent to voters in April. Davis is seeking a subpoena against telecommunications provider Onvoy, LLC to reveal the sender of the text, which the lawsuit argues is defamatory.

 “The text message sent out essentially says that if you are gay then you are disqualified from being a Republican candidate. That is not what our party believes. That is not what our party stands for,” Davis told The Virginia Star on Tuesday.

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Virginia’s Minimum Wage Increases to $9.25 an Hour on Saturday

Virginia’s minimum wage is going up to $9.25 an hour on May 1. The change is the result of 2020 legislation, part of several pro-worker changes initiated by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in 2020 and 2021. Advocates say the change will boost the economy by enabling more people to pay rent and spend money in Virginia businesses. But opponents say the increase violates free-market principles and will harm employers who have to increase their hourly compensation while dealing with a COVID-19 economy.

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Virginia NFIB: Business Is Improving, but Employers Are Having Trouble Filling Positions

As the country emerges from COVID-19 restrictions, small businesses are doing better, according to a March report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). However, uncertainty about the next few months for business owners is still high, and businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill positions.

“Virginia’s small businesses are working hard on their recovery but are struggling to find the right workers to fill open positions,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a Wednesday press release

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Chase’s Censure Lawsuit Has Hearing in Federal Court

Amanda Chase

A federal court heard a motion to dismiss Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) lawsuit over censure on Thursday. The arguments took hours, and the judge said he would take some time to consider the motion before issuing a ruling on whether the suit can go forward, according to an update from Chase and her lawyer Tim Anderson.

The motion to dismiss argues that censure is a political question outside the jurisdiction of the court, and that the defendants — the Senate and Senate Clerk Susan Schaar — have sovereign immunity. However, Anderson argued that Chase was censured for things she had said, making the censure a violation of her First Amendment rights.

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Virginia Wedding Venue Appears in Court to Fight COVID-19 Capacity Limits

Outdoor wedding venue Belle Garden Estate (BGE) appeared in court Wednesday in a lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam. BGE’s lawyer Tim Anderson argued that Northam’s executive orders violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, since religious weddings have no capacity limits, but secular weddings are capped by executive order. Northam’s lawyer argued that the right to have a wedding is not infringed, just the capacity allowed at a wedding. BGE sought an injunction blocking enforcement of executive orders that limit wedding venues differently from other businesses.

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Virginia Parole Board Blocked Automatic Victim Notifications

The Virginia Parole Board paroled Hugh Brown last March after first telling his murder victim’s family that his request for parole had been denied, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The newspaper obtained emails showing that then-Chair Adrianne Bennett had specifically asked that automated emails to the victim’s family be blocked as the board reconsidered the decision to parole Brown.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Restores Civil Rights to 69,000 Felons

Governor Ralph Northam announced the restoration of civil rights, including voting rights, to 69,000 felons. In the Tuesday announcement, Northam said would restore the rights for anyone who had been released from incarceration.

“Too many of our laws were written during a time of open racism and discrimination, and they still bear the traces of inequity,” Northam said in a press release.

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Virginia Parole Board Whistleblower Sues over Alleged Retaliation; Northam Stands by Parole Board

An Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) employee who helped investigate the Virginia Parole Board (VPB) is suing Inspector General Michael Westfall. Jennifer Moschetti’s lawsuit, filed on Monday, states that she was placed on pre-disciplinary leave on March 5, days after she approached the General Assembly as an anonymous whistleblower. On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer said the lawsuit was motivated by politics and criticized the OSIG report.

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Wedding Venue Sues Northam For Not Allowing Expanded Capacity at Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor wedding venue Belle Garden Estate (BGE) is suing Governor Ralph Northam over Executive Order 72.  The governor has begun relaxing restrictions on outdoor activities, allowing the lower of either 1,000 people or 30 percent capacity at many outdoor venues. However, outdoor wedding venues are not included in those relaxed restrictions.

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Senator Chase Sues the Republican Party of Virginia

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, announced Tuesday that she is suing the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV). Chase has been critical of the RPV decision to hold a nominating convention since the decision was first announced in December. Now, after months of fractious debate in the RPV over that decision, Chase is suing, arguing that she is harmed by the RPV choosing a nominating method currently illegal under Executive Order 72, which bans large gatherings like an in-person convention.

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Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase Files Lawsuit to Remove Censure

After the Senate of Virginia voted to censure Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) last week, the lawmaker filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking to have the public rebuke expunged.

Chase filed the suit against the Senate, naming Clerk Susan Schaar as a defendant, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia over alleged violations of the First and 14th Amendments as well as the legislative body’s own rules.

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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.

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Out-of-Court Settlement Reached to Provide Space for Virginia Legislators to Meet With Constituents

On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.

DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states.

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Out-of-Court Settlement Reached to Provide Space for Virginia Legislators to Meet With Constituents

On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.

DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states.

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The Virginia Star’s Top Five People of the Year

The list narrows — The Virginia Star has selected its top five finalists for Person of the Year. This list is focused on people who influenced the discourse and politics of across Virginia in 2020, and these people had an ongoing impact on Virginia’s headlines. Please keep sending in picks and nominations, and we will announce our finalist later this week.

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Fairfax, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano Says His Office Will Not Seek Cash Bail

  Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano (D) announced Monday that he would not be seeking cash bail for non-violent offenders, formalizing a policy he and his prosecutors have been practicing since Descano took office in January 2020. “I’ve long said that the laws on the books should match the values…

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Virginia State Senator Sues Democratic Leaders Over Public Access to Office Building

Republican Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) is suing Democratic legislative leaders over plans to restrict the public’s access to the Pocahontas Building during the upcoming regular session due to a rise in COVID-19 numbers.

On Tuesday, DeSteph filed a complaint in Richmond Circuit Court against Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County), Senate Rules Committee Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), both the clerk of the House and the Senate as well as the Virginia Division of Capitol Police.

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Injunction Filed Against Democratic State Legislators for Shutting Out Public from General Assembly

State Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) and attorney Tim Anderson filed a petition for injunction against Democratic legislators to preserve constituents’ in-person access to General Assembly members. State Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Chair of Senate Rules, and Speaker Eileen Filler Corn (D-Fairfax) decided to close the Pocahontas building to the public, which hosts office appointments for both the House of Delegates and State Senate.

“The closure of the legislative office building to the public is contrary to the explicit historical purpose of the building to allow the public access to its elected legislative members, especially during the General Assembly Session,” read the lawsuit. “Most importantly, the right to assemble and address lawmakers at the state and federal levels is fundamentally protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution: a. ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'”

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Republican Party of Virginia Chooses Convention for 2021 Nominations

It was a “Motion from hell,” Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Chair Richard Anderson said during the hours-long discussion of the RPV’s nomination method for 2021. 

Eventually, the RPV State Central Committee voted in favor of holding a convention instead of a primary to nominate the party’s 2021 Virginia candidates.

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The Republican Party of Virginia Faces a Day of Reckoning

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) will hold a virtual meeting on Saturday to determine whether a convention or a primary will be used to nominate their candidates for 2021. The decision is strategically important for candidates and power brokers, so rumors of intrigue surround preparations for the meeting.

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Tim Anderson Announces Run for Virginia House of Delegates

Prominent Virginia Beach lawyer Tim Anderson is running for the House of Delegates 83rd District as a Republican candidate.

Anderson, who is already involved with GOP state politics, officially announced his campaign on Tuesday through a press release posted to his Twitter and Facebook profiles.

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Executive Order Limiting Crowd Sizes Forces Cancelation of the Nation’s Gun Show

Organizers have canceled The Nation’s Gun Show scheduled to be held at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend after Governor Ralph Northam announced new group size restrictions at the end of last week. The organizers sued Northam and asked for an injunction that would allow them to hold the event, arguing that Northam’s emergency powers do not include the power to infringe the Second Amendment. However, the court denied the request for an injunction.

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A Breakdown of Michigan’s Witching Hour Ballot Dump from Tuesday

The masses turned in for the night during the early hours on Wednesday with President Donald Trump ahead of Democratic candidate Joe Biden by around 5 points. By sunrise, Biden had gained nearly 139,000 votes due to an alleged data error.

As Wednesday morning’s counts added to the early morning influx of votes, the race had slimmed down to less than one percentage point – a slightly larger margin than Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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UVA Fellow, Former George Mason Professor: Overthrow the Government if Trump Wins

University of Virginia (UVA) postdoctoral fellow and former George Mason University (GMU) professor David Walsh called for government overthrow if Democratic challenger Joe Biden loses the election.

“Here’s the thing: if the worst-case scenario happens next week, Americans don’t need to just ‘protest.’ They need to actively try to topple the government,” wrote Walsh. “Also worth nothing that the military has already made it clear that in such a scenario, they’re not going to back Trump.”

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Hundreds of ‘Adorable Deplorables, Chumps, and Uglies’ Show Up to Virginia Beach Trump Rally

Well over 200 people showed up on a rainy, gray Sunday to a Trump Rally supporting their Republican candidates: Scott Taylor for Congress and Daniel Gade for Senate. The rally took place inside the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. 

Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson hosted the rally, with The Star editor-in-chief and Trump Virginia Delegation Chairman John Fredericks emceeing.

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Governor Northam to Sign Bill Giving Earned Sentence Credits to Violent Offenders and Sexual Predators

Governor Ralph Northam will sign a bill granting earned sentence credits to violent offenders and sexual predators. Certain inmates will be eligible to reduce their sentencing by up to fifty percent.
The bill, House Bill (HB) 5148, includes those sentenced for certain classifications of murder, rape, robbery, abduction, kidnapping, lynching, terrorism, domestic assault, strangulation, genital mutilation, child pornography, and stalking.

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Host Fredericks Holds Roundtable with Tim Anderson, Reeves, DeSteph, Kiggans, and Cooper About a Law Enforcement Citizen Review Board

Thursday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed a roundtable consisting of Tim Anderson, Sen. Bryce Reeves, Sen. Bill DeSteph, Sen. Jen Kiggans, and Kristen Cooper to the show to discuss the current citizen review board legislation and how it will make police and communities unsafe.

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Sen. Louise Lucas Does the Expungement Two-Step

Senator Louise Lucas is a patron for a bill that would expunge records of her current felony charges if passed.
Senate Bill 5043 originally was designed to expunge criminal records relating to marijuana possession and open container violations. The latest version of the bill is much more expanded. It covers 76 crimes – many of them felonies. 

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Busted: Judge Rules Virginia House Speaker Filler-Corn Violated the Freedom of Information Act

Richmond General District Court found Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) guilty of violating the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Friday. Filler-Corn must pay a civil penalty of $500 and a partial reimbursement of attorney fees.
The filing attorney, Timothy Anderson, told The Virginia Star that this court ruling was a big win for Virginians. Anderson also shared that the judge had expressed doubt during the trial that Filler-Corn didn’t know about the documents.

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Judge Rejects Subpoena Calling Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney Stephanie Morales to Testify in Lucas Case

A judge rejected a subpoena calling Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales to testify in the Lucas case Monday. As a result, the case goes to Morales’ office and she will take the lead on the prosecution. Lucas and 18 others charged by the Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) will have their next hearing on November 19.

Judge Claire Cardwell ruled that the Portsmouth Police can not call Morales as a witness; some of Lucas’ supporters viewed the subpoena as an attempt to keep Morales out of the prosecution. In a statement, Morales’ lawyer said, “The judge said that the police department is to transmit its investigative file to Ms. Morales. Ms. Morales will prosecute all of the matters under her constitutional authority as the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney.”

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Portsmouth Tea Party Calling for Senator Lucas to be Removed, Police Chief Greene Reinstated

As Portsmouth is divided among its city leadership, Senator Louise Lucas, and the police chief who announced felony charges against Lucas, the Portsmouth Tea Party is supporting Police Chief Angela Greene with a series of meetings and protests. In their latest rally Sunday, over 100 people met in front of the Portsmouth City Hall, using constitution-based arguments to call for Greene to be re-instated and for Lucas to be removed.

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After City Manager Placed Police Chief On Leave, Portsmouth Ousts City Manager, City Attorney

Portsmouth City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton resigned Tuesday, one business day after she placed Police Chief Angela Greene on leave, and four months before she was scheduled to retire. That afternoon, in a special meeting, the Portsmouth City Council confirmed Pettis-Patton’s resignation and voted to fire City Attorney Solomon Ashby.

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Embattled State Senator Lucas and Daughter at the Center of Portsmouth Conflict

Portsmouth deputies served two misdemeanor charges against Portsmouth Vice-Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke in her office on Monday, according to reporting by WAVY.com.

The charges were filed at the Portsmouth Magistrate by resident Thomas Dubois. The charges are based on Portsmouth City Charter § 3.11, which states that city appointments and terminations must be handled through the city manager, and that violation is a class three misdemeanor.

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