On Friday, one day prior to being sworn in as Virginia’s new Attorney General, Jason Miyares (R-Va.) fired 30 employees in the Virginia Attorney General’s office, including the entirety of the Civil Rights Division.
As reported by the Daily Caller, 17 of the 30 employees who were fired were attorneys. Following the mass firing, Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said that the new Attorney General was “restructuring the office, as every incoming AG has done in the past.” She noted that Miyares and former Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.), whom Miyares narrowly defeated in November, “have very different visions for the office.”
In response, Herring’s former spokeswoman Charlotte Gomer criticized the move, claiming that the fired employees were “dedicated and professional public servants who do important work, like investigate wrongful convictions, protect Virginians’ civil rights, help to ensure free and fair elections, and prevent human trafficking and opioid abuse.”
There has been a great deal of discussion of the widespread Republican victories last week, many of them belaboring the obvious. Fundamentally, the United States is a political society based on personal freedom, a free market, and on democratically legislated and responsibly enforced laws. The current administration’s belief in virtually unrestricted immigration, higher taxes, authoritarian regulation—including COVID vaccine mandates, and a heavy redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not—are all antagonistic to the ethos that the United States has had for all of its history. In the circumstances, some sort of reversal was almost inevitable and is the off-year American electoral custom.
Those who were surprised by the Republican victory in Virginia and the near-dead heat in New Jersey had not recognized the extent of the affront to traditional democratic voters of the Sanders-woke-leftward lurch.
The 2021 elections are filled with key lessons for Republicans.
Vice President Kamala Harris had already warned in a Virginia visit late in the campaign that “what happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.”
If Republicans learn the lessons of 2021 – and apply them to 2022 and 2024 – they can prove Harris was truly prophetic.
It is already clear that the Democrats’ power structure in Washington has learned nothing. In 2009, after losing Virginia and New Jersey, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through Obamacare four days later. Remember, she said cheerfully “Congress [has] to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”
As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down for his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, denying a conflict of interest in his decision to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism,” there is a mother in the quiet suburb of Annandale, N.J., who found his answers lacking. And she has questions she wants asked at Garland’s hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.
On a recent Saturday night, Caroline Licwinko, a mother of three, a law school student and the coach to her daughter’s cheerleading squad, sat in front of her laptop and tapped three words into an internet search engine: “Panorama. Survey. Results.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.
Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.
Two weeks before Virginia’s bellwether election, Republican Glenn A. Youngkin‘s campaign is banging the pots and pans to draw attention to Democrat Terence R. “Terry” McAuliffe’s sudden end to his interview with WJLA-TV’s Nick Minock. Three times, a McAuliffe staffer interrupted the interview, which ended with this exchange: McAuliffe…
Some more thoughts on the FOX News poll showing former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe up by 5 points over Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin just three (and now two) weeks out from the November 2nd election.
One of the numbers in the poll? McAuliffe’s support among black voters at +63. Which is shorthand for a 79/16 gap — which sounds atrocious (and quite frankly, is atrocious for a party built on the premise that all men should be free).
Thomas Caldwell’s wife awakened him in a panic at 5:30 a.m. on January 19.
“The FBI is at the door and I’m not kidding,” Sharon Caldwell told her husband.
Caldwell, 66, clad only in his underwear, went to see what was happening outside his Virginia farm. “There was a full SWAT team, armored vehicles with a battering ram, and people screaming at me,” Caldwell told me during a lengthy phone interview on September 21. “People who looked like stormtroopers were pointing M4 weapons at me, covering me with red [laser] dots.”
Six Afghan refugees in Virginia and Wisconsin have tested positive for the measles, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
The cases were reported among Afghan refugees who were evacuated to the U.S. after the Taliban took over Kabul, according to the AP. The cases were reported four days after flights bringing Afghans to the U.S. were suspended because some of the refugees had measles, the AP reported.
The Daily Caller News Foundation interviewed Iranian-Christian Dimis Christophy, a Loudoun County, Virginia parent who unleashed on his child’s woke public school board during a meeting on August 10th. TRANSCRIPT: Christophy: Just to clear up, I know, King and Queen are not pronouns. I get it. Okay. There’s a…
Two new polls today in the Virginia gubernatorial race between Democratic former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) and Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin (R) both showing McAuliffe to have a significant lead over his rival.
There are more questions than answers about the likely thousands of Afghans who are coming to Wisconsin.
The Pentagon on Tuesday said 22,000 Afghan refugees will be sent to military bases in Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin base is Fort McCoy.
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.
Over 200 Afghan allies arrived at Fort Lee, in Virginia, on the first of many expected flights bringing thousands of people who assisted the U.S. military to America, Axios reported Friday.
President Joe Biden promised to help Afghan interpreters and other people who aided U.S. forces during the war, according to Axios. Over 700 people and their family members are expected to come to the U.S. on special immigrant visas as American forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
More than 800 businesses and business associations are jointly urging the Virginia General Assembly to approve a budget item for $291 million in relief to the travel and hospitality industries, which was proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam.
Northam’s proposal would appropriate funds from the federally passed American Rescue Plan to help these industries bounce back from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet on Aug. 2 to consider the budget proposal.
The businesses and business associations signed a joint letter showing their support. It includes the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association.
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.
Virginia Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims, a Republican who earlier served as a state lawmaker and state attorney general, has announced his plans to retire from the court next spring.
Mims, who would have been eligible for reappointment in anticipation of his term ending March 31, wrote in a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam (D), House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield) and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Alexandria) that he wants to “discern other opportunities to serve” as he turns 65 next year.
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.”
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.
The United States federal government is coming to Virginians’ doorsteps to ask for their personal medical information and vaccination status. Vaccination efforts in the western Tidewater counties of Franklin, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, and Southampton County are ramping up to include door-to-door operations.
Virginia won first place in CNBC’s ranking of top states for business in 2021, a repeat performance from 2019, the last time the ranking was issued. On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam stopped in the Port of Virginia for a CNBC broadcast and a press conference.
“Virginia continues to be the best place to do business because of our world-class education institutions, talented workforce, and shared commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion,” Northam said in a press release.
The Republican Party of Virginia is requesting the University of Virginia perform an ethics investigation into the university’s Center for Politics, alleging its director has shown strong partisanship toward Democrats in his taxpayer-funded role.
The Center for Politics was created by Dr. Larry Sabato, a political scientist and analyst, for the purpose of inspiring people to engage with politics and instill the values of freedom, justice, equality, civility and service, according to its website. Sabato is the current director of the center and labels it as nonpartisan.
Rich Anderson, the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia sent a letter to UVA President James Ryan requesting the university investigate statements by Sabato for potentially violating the university’s Code of Ethics. In the letter, Anderson said certain Tweets show “bitter partisanship,” which “a reasonable taxpaying citizen can readily conclude.”
A Virginia board will meet Tuesday to consider changing or ending business regulations it introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, some of which have been confusing business owners.
Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Industry established permanent regulations on businesses, which could only end or be changed through another meeting by the department’s Safety Health Codes Board. When the board adopted the regulations, it also added a provision that required it to meet within two weeks after the state of emergency for COVID-19 ended. The last day of the emergency declaration was June 30.
The rules were initially in line with Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but after the governor rescinded some of the requirements, the two standards seemed to contradict on certain issues. The governor requires some employees to wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated. The DOLI regulations require those employees to wear masks and make no mention of vaccinations, but later guidance stated vaccinated individuals were not required to wear masks.
A Virginia law that went into effect Thursday makes releasing balloons illegal.
Individuals who are 16 years old and older who release balloons in the state will now be fined $25, according to a summary of the law. In the case where someone below the age of 16 releases a balloon “at the instruction of an adult,” the adult will be fined.
Some Virginia universities intend to prohibit marijuana on campus grounds after it becomes legal for recreational use for adults age 21 and older in the state.
Although the commonwealth will allow legal possession beginning in two weeks, the plant still is illegal at the federal level and a schedule I drug under the controlled substance act. If a university allows marijuana on campus, some universities worry it could threaten their federal funding.
A spokesperson from James Madison University told The Center Square the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices will continue to address incidents of marijuana on campus because use and possession are illegal under federal law.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam held a ceremonial bill signing on legislation that provides financial assistance for higher education to students who are in the country illegally.
House Bill 2123/Senate Bill 1387 will allow students who are in the state illegally to access education benefits equal to residents of the commonwealth, including in-state tuition and financial assistance programs the state provides for public and private colleges and universities.
“Until last year, undocumented students had to pay out-of-state tuition rates,” Northam said Monday during the ceremony at Marymount University. “We’re all proud to have changed that. Lowering the cost barriers for children who have grown up in our schools. And now it’s time to give those students the opportunity to get help in paying for their education.”
Virginians who receive food stamps will continue to be eligible for higher pandemic-era benefits through June, the Virginia Department of Social Services announced.
Families receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see additional benefits automatically loaded onto their EBT cards. The funds will be added n June 16.
A household of one will be eligible for up to $234 monthly while the emergency funding continues. A family of two could receive up to $430, a family of three up to $616 and a family of four up to $782. The funding gradually increases for every additional member of a family.
Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is two points below former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe in a new WPA Intelligence poll. This, according to an article that The Republican Standard published Thursday. The poll said Youngkin had 46 percent while McAuliffe had 48 percent.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is gradually expanding its appointment opportunities this month and next month now that most of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have come to an end.
Starting June 1, the DMV opened 184,000 additional appointment opportunities and the department will open up more appointments June 15 and again in July. Residents can secure their slots for the June 15 appointment expansion at this time. The department is hiring and training new employees to keep up with the higher number of appointments.
“Virginians have told us they appreciate the convenience and high quality service the appointment system affords,” Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said in a news release at the time of the announcement. “The Governor’s announcement … enables us to open more windows so customers can secure appointments sooner, but we are still taking great care to offer service that is safe for everyone.”
I am a proud Democrat who has had the honor of serving the Commonwealth in three different offices including Commonwealth’s Attorney, House of Delegates and, currently, the Virginia State Senate. However, on Tuesday June 8th, I will not be voting for Democrat Mark Herring. There are three (3) primary reasons why Mark Herring has lost the trust of the Electorate and does not deserve re-election. Please consider the following and decide for yourself whether or not Attorney General Herring deserves a third (3rd) term in office.
The University of Virginia is permitting “undocumented” students to waive their $400 enrollment deposits.
On April 27, undocUVA — a student activist group — called on the university to “do better” in extending financial aid to classmates illegally present in the United States.
“Matriculating marginalized students without providing adequate resources for them is a strategy of exclusion,” said an undocUVA statement.
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.”
Packaged tuna manufacturer Starkist is closing up its headquarters in Pittsburgh and moving to northern Virginia, but most of the details about the move have not been revealed.
Starkist will close its office in the North Shore of Pittsburgh on March 31, 2022, but will maintain a presence in the area. Its new headquarters will open in northern Virginia in 2022, but the company did not say in which locality.
The company did not announce the reasons for its relocation. No announcements have been made related to taxpayer-funded subsidies or other incentives, which could be part of a deal.
Starkist has been owned by South Korea-based Dongwon Industries since 2008. It employs about 2,630 people and generates more than $24 million in revenue, according to Zippia.
Virginia awarded $135.8 million worth of grants to support state and local criminal justice programs, primarily to support those who have been the victims of a crime, Gov. Ralph Northam announced late Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 63% of the funding, $85.5 million, will be used to provide services for victims. Many organizations receiving money provide direct services for traditionally underserved populations and for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Each of these grant recipients play an important role in keeping our communities safe and supporting victims and survivors of crime,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will sustain the operations of a variety of critical programs and help expand the reach of services to underserved areas of the Commonwealth.”
Some Virginia universities have eased their mask mandates for those who have been fully vaccinated to follow more closely with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Universities that officially made mask changes for vaccinated people include the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University.
“Based on the advice of University medical experts, we are pleased to inform you that the University will follow the advice of the CDC and the Governor and update our policy so that UVA community members who are fully vaccinated can now safely forego masks both indoors and outdoors,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in a statement with other university leaders.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar rented a Virginia home from NBC host Chuck Todd, who never disclosed the relationship during his many interviews with the Minnesota politician.
That’s according to a Thursday report from Breitbart editor Alex Marlow, who discusses the relationship in his new book, “Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruptions.”
Marlow states that Klobuchar and her husband, attorney John Bessler, began renting an Arlington, Va., home from Todd in 2008, shortly into her first term as a U.S. senator. Monthly rent for the three-bedroom house was $3,200, earning Todd $38,400 annually.
To offset learning losses caused by the shutdown of in-person public education, Virginia will be spending more than $60 million in recovery grants for public schools, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.
After public schools in the commonwealth were completely shut down for in-person classes for a period of time, the governor implemented restrictions that required hybrid teaching models that included both virtual and in-person learning for months. Since those guidelines have been lifted, some schools have returned to fully in-person education, while some are still using a hybrid model.
To minimize the learning gaps caused by the closures, the state will provide $62.7 million in LEARNS Education Recovery grants. About $55 million of the funding will come from federal relief and the remaining $7.7 million will come from state funds.
The federal government will award the Commonwealth of Virginia and local governments money related to the costs of damages from winter storms in mid-February, President Joe Biden announced.
Biden declared a major disaster for severe weather storms that happened between Feb. 11 and Feb. 13. Federal assistance will be available for the state, tribal and local recovery efforts related to the storms.
Funding is also available to some private nonprofits for the cost of emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities.
State Senator Amanda Chase (I-Chesterfield) is the first of the GOP candidates to concede the gubernatorial contest to Pete Snyder by means of fusillade, threatening a third-party run due to “clear corruption” should the election go Snyder’s way.
Clearly there is a great deal of anger here. And perhaps a confession of sorts that Chase knew she wasn’t going into this convention with either strength or confidence in her ability to turn out.
But it’s not the anger of someone who had something stolen from them. This tweet alone is a violation of the RPV Party Plan. This is someone who refuses to accept any outcome other than the one that anoints them as a victor — Republicans don’t behave like Democrats.
What the heck is going on with the Virginia Department of Education?
A little over a week ago reports surfaced that the state would be doing away with advanced math classes for all grades except 11 and 12.
But then reports came out noting the state’s education chief disputed those reports, saying “absolutely acceleration is not going away in mathematics courses.”
Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam amended a previous executive order to ease up on COVID-19 restrictions, effective on April 1, allowing up to 50 people to gather for indoor events and up to 100 people to gather for outdoor events. However, Virginia Polytechnic Institute announced it would not follow these guidelines but maintain previous restrictions that limit indoor gathering to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 50 people.
Alyssa Jones, president of the Turning Point USA chapter at Virginia Tech, contacted her school following Northam’s announcement that he would ease COVID-19 restrictions.
In a March 23 email obtained by Campus Reform, Student Engagement and Campus Life told Jones that “after April 1st groups are permitted to have up to 50 people in attendance for indoor events.”
U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced federal gun control legislation Thursday to mirror some of the laws that recently passed their home state of Virginia.
The policies include expanding background checks, limiting handgun purchases and enacting red flag laws at a national level. The senators are calling the legislation the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act.
“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”
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.
An equestrian center is suing Fairfax County over a dispute about whether the center should be deemed agricultural in nature and therefore exempt from certain regulations.
Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, is providing the center with legal representation. Petersen is the chair of the senate’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Virginia law prohibits local governments from interfering with farming activities on land zoned as agricultural. Yet, the county is trying to subject the Harmony Hills Equestrian Center to urban code requirements and ordinary commercial property requirements because it does not consider the center to be a farm.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed 18 amendments to the budget legislation passed by the General Assembly, which includes giving the executive branch more authority to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also propose three language amendments to ensure our ability to continue responding to needs related to the COVID pandemic by giving agencies the flexibility to respond and the authority to address the opportunities presented by the federal funding such as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), until we can address the matter fully at a special session,” Northam said in a letter to the House of Delegates.
One amendment to the budget would grant the director of the Department of Planning and Budget the authority to direct the additional Medicaid revenue from the recent federal stimulus plan to current services. Another would grant the superintendent of public instruction the authority to issue temporary flexibility or waivers for deadlines and requirements that cannot be met because of the COVID-19 state of emergency and school closures.
The Republican Party of Virginia announced Friday that the filing deadline had passed for the 2021 Republican Party of Virginia unassembled convention, creating a scramble for the wide open Governor’s race. The unassembled convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, with over 30 polling locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the Republican Party of Virginia, all but two announced candidates for Governor filed for and paid their filing fee.
The following candidates have properly filed with the Republican Party of Virginia and will appear on the Republican Party of Virginia 2021 Statewide unassembled convention ballot.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is directing $20.1 million in grants for 11 projects in the commonwealth to strengthen broadband infrastructure, his office announced Thursday.
The projects are designed to increase broadband connectivity throughout 17 localities. The projects will connect more than 13,400 establishments, which will include households, businesses and anchor institutions and is leveraging $18.8 million in private and local investments.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
Democratic Virginia Delegate David Reid has introduced legislation, passed by the House of Delegates, which would require some public universities to provide reparations to ancestors of slaves who worked at the universities.
The legislation, ”Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program,” now awaits a vote in the state senate.
It would require a number of universities to provide reparations. Those universities include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute and the College of William and Mary.
Appalachian Power, the second largest electric utility in Virginia, is seeking an 11% increase in rates paid by consumers residing in the commonwealth to pay for electric transmission costs.
If approved, Appalachian Power would increase the Transmission Rate Adjustment Clause from $225.1 million to $337.7 million, which is a $112.6 million increase. It would increase the monthly bill for a customer by $11.52 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours. It would go into effect in July 2021.
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.