by Kerry Dougherty
Stop the presses. It’s July 26th. And it’s hot. My trusty iPhone weather app says it will hit 91 today, 94 Thursday and 96 on Friday.
Who could have predicted such temperatures? Actually, all of us. It’s called JULY.
And yes, much of the country is in a record heat wave with far hotter weather. It’s not the first heat wave and it won’t be the last. But there is a new breed of “safetyist” afoot. Not the usual alarmists who feel it’s their duty to remind us every summer to wear light clothing, drink water — not tequila — and not to exercise at high noon, as if we are idiots.
This new bunch is raising the alarm on the dangers of temperatures — get this — above 90.
by Shaun Kenney
With state revenue projections north of $5 billion, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) renewed his call for a budget deal with Senate Democrats as negotiators with the Virginia General Assembly met for the first time since June.
“Virginians remain overtaxed. Last year we provided $4 billion of tax relief for individuals, families, and veterans. What this year’s preliminary numbers tell us is that even after that historic tax package, the Commonwealth ended fiscal year 2023 with $5.1 billion in excess resources, far more than forecasted,” said Gov. Youngkin.
“There is plenty of money in the system to fund our shared priorities of education, behavioral health, and law enforcement while returning more of Virginians hard-earned dollars back to their wallets. Just as we did last year, I am calling on the General Assembly to reject the partisan, business-as-usual approach in Richmond, and agree on a deal that lowers the cost of living and cost of doing business in Virginia while investing in our shared priorities. This is not about Republicans and Democrats. It’s not about the Senate or the House. It’s about delivering for Virginians.”
Already, Virginia is returning some $1 billion to small businesses, with Secretary of Finance Steve Cummings confirming Friday that the state expects to return “something more than a billion” dollars to taxpayers who had taken advantage of a new tax benefit for pass-through entities, such as limited liabilities and other unincorporated businesses, that allows them to avoid a $10,000 cap on federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes.
by Jon Baliles
There has been a lot of talk about the affordable housing crisis in the region in recent years, but it has been constant in 2023. The entire region needs 39,000 units as fast as it can get them; but interest rates are high, the market is stalling — every week there is a new twist or turn in the drama. And this week is no exception.
Em Holter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a disturbing story about the meeting this week of the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) Board that drew an overflow crowd reacting to the reckless idea by Mayor Levar Stoney and his administration for dissolving the Board and creating a commission instead, that allegedly would allow for raising more money from other sources and involve other partners. The mayor’s and the administration’s argument is that because there is more money to be allocated, there should be more oversight. But what they are proposing is not more sunlight, but less.
The AHTF Board is tasked with oversight of the money in the fund to help support and spur more affordable housing projects. Just last year, the Mayor and Council finally approved a commitment of putting $10 million per year in the fund for five years. Who doesn’t need more money and more partners to help tackle an issue as large and complex affordable housing? Sounds sensible, right? Except…
As the Times-Dispatch article points out, what this is really about is who controls the money and who gets to pick the “partners”:
But with more funding comes more oversight, which city administrators are hoping to achieve. To do so, City Hall wants to eliminate the board and establish a commission that would allow for more money and more partners.
Those in opposition argue that administrators are overstepping their bounds, which could lead to an imbalance of power, loss of control of funds and elimination of public input.
by Martin Davis and Shaun Kenney
Last week, Cardinal News published a piece by reporter Markus Schmidt about the difficulties facing several Democratic candidates for state and local offices in Virginia, owing to complications with their paperwork.
Mistakes related to paperwork happen every year, and sometimes the Virginia Department of Elections can sort out the problem. Schmidt’s story notes two instances in recent years when this happened. Notably, in 2019, when the department accepted late paperwork for Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, and in 2021, when it placed Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun County, on the ballot despite a missed deadline.
City and county registrars, however, are the people who are on the front lines of most issues relating to candidates’ paperwork issues. And these people are often caught between conflicting interpretations of critical statutes.
In Spotsylvania County, concern over signatures collected by two candidates for local office provides an interesting look into the challenges local registrars face. It also reveals some issues with the way the state is relaying information to candidates and registrars. Continue reading
by Shaun Kenney
Back in November 2019, the Commonwealth of Kentucky was well on its way to being a blue state. That is, until the state’s Republican leadership saw the trend and decided to do something about it. Aided by terrible Biden numbers, Kentucky’s GOP reversed the decline in short order:
If you’re like myself, the palpable groan about seducing moderates and independents into the Virginia GOP becomes audible. Yet that is the old way of doing voter outreach. Today’s Virginia is more transient than ever, with military families and highly educated suburban families — particularly immigrant communities who share our traditional values — migrating into places such as Northern Virginia and Richmond.
To make matters even more digestible, it may shock many a reader to find out that evangelical Protestants and pew-sitting Catholics simply do not vote in similar numbers to our more secular “nones” and liberal friends — politics being a sordid and nasty thing.
So there are three constituencies where Virginia Republicans stand to gain:
1. Rural and suburban Christians.
2. African-American voters.
3. NOVA and Richmond immigrant communities.
I mean — it would be just perfect if Virginia Republicans elected three statewide candidates who just happen to have inroads to all three, right?
by Kerry Dougherty
It’s strange to think that I will never again get up on Election Day and head to the polls. I’ll never again take my granddaughter with me to see me fill out my ballot and drop it into the ballot counter. I’ll never again grab two “I Voted” stickers — one for her and one for me.
I’m voting absentee from now on, something I swore I’d never do.
Let me explain. In January’s special election to fill the 7th District State Senate seat left vacant when Republican Jen Kiggans was elected to Congress, Democrat Aaron Rouse won by a razor-thin majority of 696 votes with 50.84 percent of the vote. The district is split between part of Norfolk and part of Virginia Beach. Republican Kevin Adams won the Election Day contest and even the early voting.
But what clinched the election for Rouse were absentee ballots in Virginia Beach, traditionally a Republican stronghold. Of the 5,884 absentee ballots returned, 4,283 were for Rouse.
Here, look at the results: Continue reading
by Jon Baliles
Historic preservation is important for many reasons, like helping us better understand our past and how to improve it for future generations. One great advocate of preserving Richmond’s history to convey stories forward was Mary Winfield Scott, who passed away in 1983, but whose legacy lives on in neighborhoods across Richmond, and who was the subject of a great piece by Greg McQuade at CBS6.
Scott was a preservationist who helped save the 18th Century structure known as Linden Row on Franklin Street across from the city’s main library.
“[She] quickly recognized that we were losing places that made Richmond unique,” said Will Glasco, with Preservation Virginia, a group that was born from Scott’s efforts.
by Carl Noller
People have been coming to America for centuries, many of them drawn by the opportunities this country offered. It was less who you knew or who you could bribe and more what you knew. Martin Luther King may have put it best when he encouraged us to judge others by the content of character, rather than skin color. Recently, however, Democrats have been telling us that this is all wrong — that race is the critical factor. Diversity, as a social goal, trumps all others.
We have been electing Democrats in recent years, and, not surprisingly, they have begun implementing that vision, which inflames racial tensions. This can be seen very clearly with the changes in admissions criteria at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, ranked the best high school in the nation. The School Board deemed the Fairfax County high school too Asian. The student body needed to be more “diverse,” more reflective of the community. The School Board engineered this under a revised admissions process, which eliminated the standardized admissions test, eliminated the $100 application fee, and reserved seats in the freshman class for the top 1.5 percent of applicants from every middle school in the county. The effect was noticeable and will increase over the next three classes before leveling off, as those chosen under the old rules graduate.
by Jon Baliles
Three weeks or so ago, the regurgitation of the casino referendum got a round of approval from almost everyone on City Council in a meeting that was filled with unearned righteousness about how it was going to save the city (kudos to Councilwoman Katherine Jordan for the lone no vote).
Richmond BizSense reported that:
Councilmembers contended that misinformation about the project the first go-round warranted putting it to the voters a second time. They stressed that the development (no longer being referred to as a casino), would not involve funding support from the city and would create jobs and economic opportunities for Southside and the rest of the city.
Of course, most people knew this the last go-round because the advocates of the casino spent $2.5 million on billboards, mailers, and ads telling us ad nauseam about the “benefits” of a casino and how it wouldn’t cost the city anything. Now, they want to pretend we were too stupid to know that the real reasons they were pushing the first time around weren’t what they spent $2.5 million promoting.
Saddam Azlan Salim
by Emilio Jaksetic
In the upcoming November 2023 election, the Democratic Party candidate for Virginia Senate District 37 is Saddam Azlan Salim. Salim won the Democratic nomination by defeating Chap Peterson in the June 20, 2023 primary.
A profile of Mr. Salim is available on Ballotpedia. A hypertext link in the Ballotpedia profile goes to Salim’s campaign webpage. Among those endorsements are three by progressive prosecutors: Commonwealth Attorneys Steve Descano, (Fairfax County), Buta Biberaj (Loudoun County), and Parissa Dehghani-Tafti (Arlington County/Falls Church). On the face of it, those endorsements reflect the traditional practice of candidates to solicit and accept endorsements in support of their campaigns. However, the endorsements by the three progressive prosecutors are a problem for Salim because he is running for a seat in the Virginia Senate.
Soliciting and accepting the endorsement of a particular person or group does not mean or imply that the candidate is in complete agreement with every act performed or statement made by the endorser. However, the three progressive prosecutors have made a point of claiming that their “criminal justice reforms” are good for Virginians and expressing their intent to continue pursuing them.
The endorsement of Salim’s candidacy by those three progressive Commonwealth Attorneys indicates the following: (1) those prosecutors believe or know he is sympathetic to their “criminal justice reform” efforts; and (2) they want voters to consider their endorsements as a reason for voting for Salim because they believe many voters are in agreement with their “criminal justice reform” efforts. Furthermore, Salim’s acceptance of their endorsements indicates he is sympathetic to, or in agreement with, the “criminal justice reforms” of the three progressive prosecutors.
by John Massoud
Earlier this month, a Warren County resident was complaining about a “small group of people who wish to ban books” from the Samuels Library. The writer talked about how many of the speakers that evening were not Warren County residents, or may have just purchased a library card so they could speak.
The writer may not be aware of this, but by that last statement, he was trying to suppress free speech. Several of the speakers who were supporting allowing these books in the children’s section of Samuels Library were trying to suppress free speech. One of the more egregious examples was a young lady who early in the meeting said that “churches should not be allowed to speak” because they “don’t pay taxes.” What she meant to say was that no person who attends a church should be allowed to speak. So people who attend church, who pay their taxes, should not be allowed to speak, yet anyone who agrees with those wanting to show porn to kids should be allowed to speak as they wish. This according to the logic of those who want to show porn to children.
People like the writer say they are 100 percent for free speech. Yet they want anyone who disagrees with them to not be allowed to speak. The writer does not support free speech. He supports free speech if you agree with him. With that being said, here are the books that many leftists want banned (and in some cases have gotten banned):
Of Mice and Men
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
To Kill a Mockingbird
Six books written by Dr. Seuss
For the record, I, like pretty much every person today, finds use of the N word despicable. Yet, the fact is that “Huck Finn” is an American classic. Should Huckleberry Finn be banned because Mark Twain used a word which may have been acceptable in the late 1800s but is now rightly seen as disgusting? Of course not. Dr. Seuss is coming under fire because some radicals’ sensibilities are offended over artwork. Dr. Seuss was the least racist person of his time. Continue reading
“Give me liberty or give me death!” So proclaimed Patrick Henry in delivering his great speech on the Rights of the Colonies, before the Virginia Assembly, convened in Richmond on March 23, 1775, as re-created in this artwork by Currier and Ives. (Photo: Heritage Images/ Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
by Joseph Postell
It’s common for Americans on July 4th to read and discuss the Declaration of Independence, and to reflect on its principles and ideas. Those principles and ideas are often attributed solely — though wrongly — to Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the draft of the Declaration.
Jefferson’s draft was modified in two stages: first, by a “Committee of Five” composed of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston; and second, by the entire Continental Congress.
The Congress discussed Jefferson’s draft for three days, and made significant changes (according to Jefferson, “depredations”) to his work.
In short, the Declaration was the work not of a single person, but of the representatives of the American people. Jefferson was the author of the draft, but it was an American Declaration.
by The Republican Standard staff
The Virginia General Assembly passed several small bills due to the split between the Republican-led House of Delegates and the Democratic-controlled Virginia State Senate. Yet the areas where they did find co-operation could matter to many Virginians as we head into Fourth of July weekend.
Enhanced Penalties for Fentanyl Manufacturing or Distribution
Reeves SB1188 Senate 35-5 House 50-42
Provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally manufactures or knowingly and intentionally distributes a weapon of terrorism when such person knows that such weapon of terrorism is, or contains, any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Universal Occupational License Recognition
McDougle SB1213 Senate 40-0 House 99-0
Establishes criteria for an individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state to apply to a regulatory board within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and be issued an occupational license or government certification if certain conditions are met.
Police Chiefs May Enact Local Curfews during Disturbances
Norment SB1455 Senate 27-12 House 53-45
Enables the chief law-enforcement officer of a locality to enact a curfew under certain circumstances during a civil disturbance.
Making Sure Every District has a Legislator
Suetterlein SB944 Senate 39-0 House 99-0
Requires special elections to fill a vacancy in the membership of the General Assembly be held within 30 days of the vacancy if the vacancy occurs or will occur between December 10 and March 10 which coincides with time right before and during the General Assembly session. Continue reading
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Tagged The Republican Standard staff
by Kerry Dougherty
Reason #5,692 not to vote for ANY Democrats running for the General Assembly this fall:
We all know that Virginia’s leftists in Richmond yearn for our lovely commonwealth to be more like California. When last they controlled the state legislature these nuts directly tethered our energy policies to that “progressive” utopia.
It won’t stop there, so let’s see what else is on its way from the West Coast.
Looky here! It’s Assembly Bill 665, working its way through the legislature. When this passes — and it’s just wacky enough to win approval — it would essentially emancipate some 12-year-olds, allowing them to seek mental health care without their parents’ approval. Continue reading
by Robin Beres
In less than a week, Virginians, like Americans everywhere, will celebrate Independence Day. This year, despite high inflation, high gas prices, a sharply divided electorate, and rising crime rates, there seems to be a growing consensus that we celebrate this occasion with all the gusto we can muster.
Despite the holiday falling on a Tuesday, from Winchester to Norfolk to Abingdon, plans are afoot for a glorious Fourth, complete with fireworks, parades, and hot dogs. Mount Vernon is celebrating the naturalization of hundreds of new American citizens. Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission to its historic area and art museums on July 4. Virginia Beach is hosting free concerts on 17th Street, 24th Street, and 31st Street. Just about every small town and village is having a parade. With 27 military installations around the state, expect to see lots of marching troops and military static displays.
Audience members hold their hands over their hearts while the U.S. Air Force Band plays the national anthem at Williamsburg, Va., July 4, 2012.
Thankfully, Virginia has so far managed to avoid the oppressive heat dome that sits over much of the United States. But even if the temps do soar above the 90-degree mark, it probably wouldn’t deter many Virginians from celebrating our Independence Day. It’s what we do — and studies show we do it with more pride than any other state in the union. Continue reading