Five Ways Virginia Sucks

By Peter Galuszka

An alternative blogger is listing five ways Virginia may be the worst state in the union, a.k.a. “Bob Land.”

Tara Lohan of AlterNet notes that generally, watching the news these days is like going through a time warp when it comes to debates about birth control or teaching science in the classroom. States such as Georgia and Missouri come to mind in this regard, but Virginia, she says, is the worst.

Here are five reasons why:

  • Despite the horrific Virginia Tech shootings and public polling wishing otherwise, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has successfully pushed through a measure to repeal the one handgun a month purchase limit in the state. He apparently doesn’t care that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that “Virginia is the No. 1 out-of-state source” of handguns in the country.
  • Virginia may have 1,600 children up for adoption. But not if you are gay or lesbian. Virginia allows adoption agencies to deny placements” to people who conflict with their religious beliefs.
  • Hard right Atty. Gen. Kenneth Cuccinelli has waged a vigorous and expensive campaign in his witch hunt against former University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann.
  •  Virginia’s powers have been backing a new coal-fired electricity plant just upwind of Colonial Williamsburg. According to The Virginian-Pilot, the plant would emit 2,000 pounds of arsenic, up to 7,000 pounds of benzene, 1,390 pounds of chromium and 118 points of mercury into the air every year.
  • McDonnell launched a “War on Women” with his backing of a law requiring women considering abortion to have an ultrasound test. He backed away from a more invasive way of doing the test which is not deemed a medical necessity.

In general, Lohan hits the highlights, although she misses a little context. One is that since he is elected separately, Cuccinnelli doesn’t report to McDonnell. The Old Dominion Electric Cooperative coal plant has been put on hold mostly because of financing issues. The flood of natural gas, much from hydraulic fracking, has put a serious dent in the viability of new coal-fired electricity.

But she hits most of the notes. Interesting to read something other than what a dandy state Virginia is for business.

6 Responses to Five Ways Virginia Sucks

  1. Mr. Positive must have gotten out of the wrong side of his bed this morning!

  2. Not at all. I feel very good today. Won my season-opener USTA tennis match yesterday in two-hour-long battle.

  3. I too am embarrassed to live in a Neanderthal-like state. I’m proud of their fiscal conservative principles in general but when you got folks like George Allen and the Cooch in danger of actually “promoting” more, better (sic) dysfunctionality…. it’s truly a scary thought.

    We’re ending up with Two Virginias. Blue and Reactionary RIGHT! RINOs have been hunted to extinction and now only come out at night.

  4. Virginia doesn’t suck. Virginia’s state government sucks. Or, more specifically, Virginia’s governance process sucks.

    That governance process is an outgrowth of “the Richmond attitude”. The Richmond attitude holds that a small group of elites should run everything from behind the scenes. The attitude holds that power should he highly concentrated and wielded in a very opaque manner. In part, there is a certain paternalism whereby the Descendants of Pocahontas actually believe they are genetically superior and we’ll all be better off if we just leave the “deep thinking” to them. In part, control of the state government allows them to enrich themselves in ways tht would be impossible without a centralized, opaque governance structure.

    Blaming McDonnell is a case in point. As a one term governor, McDonnell essentially loses control over his own political party the day he is elected. Even if he vetoes the dumb assed bills that his own party puts forth, they can just wait a couple of years and he’s gone. Meanwhile, the fact that the General Assembly is the least competitive state legislature in the country all but guarantees that the delegates and senators will be around for the next governor. We have the most competitive gubernatorial elections in the country and the least competitive state legislature elections in the country.

    Blaming the governor for the actions of the entrenched state legislature is a non-sequitur while blaming the entrenched state legislature makes perfect sense.

    Peter’s issues with hand gun control are a case in point. Even the majority in the Heller case allowed considerable latitude for government to regulate fire arms. Limiting the number of handguns a person can buy per month seems easily within the discretion of the government. However, the excess concentration of power in the General Assembly prevents common sense regulation at the locality level. Many localities in Virginia would vote to limit the number of handguns bought per month within their locality. Urban and suburban areas with gang problems might be well advised to put a limit on the number of handguns bought per month. Rural and small town areas might not need such legislation. But our “one size fits all” governance process lets gun shops in Arlington County (within eyesight of DC) sell MS-13 members as many guns as they care to buy. Is this really the right way to govern a state as diverse as Virginia?

  5. I think the Virginia “way” goes way back…to when gentry ruled Va… The mindset still prevails.

    We could fix this overnight if citizens had the right to initiate recall and referenda.

    the folks in Richmond have us citizens by the proverbial short hairs and they’re not inclined to let go.

  6. you know the funny thing here? The Tea Party and the Agenda 21 folks are up in arms about “bad” govt… but nary a whimper from either of them on recall and referenda…

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