Sorry, Delegate, I don’t buy it.
I’m delighted that you and your wife are expecting your first baby. And your determination to be a good dad is admirable. Every child should be so lucky.
But you’re quitting your job because a child is on the way? You’re gone in two weeks? You’re not even going to finish your current term, let alone begin your next one?
None of this makes sense. Continue reading
by Michael Fruitman and Jim McCarthy
Other than the continued inanity of conspiracy theorists and theories about the theft of the 2020 presidential election, we may be grateful in this post-Thanksgiving moment that our ballots in that contest mattered and prevailed.
Virginia turnout was 75% of registered voters (4.375 million). The Democrat garnered 2.413 million votes and the Republican 1.962 million, the largest and most significant result in the Commonwealth’s history and testimony to the vitality of citizen participation in the electoral process.
Nationally, the results were not dissimilar to those in Virginia, with 81.3 million popular votes for the Democrat and 74.2 million for the Republican. However, for a small handful of voters who happened to be members of the U.S. Congress, the popular results were not acceptable. On January 6, 2021, and into the early morning of the 7th, members of Congress conducted another vote to overturn the popular results by legislation, rejecting the Electoral College vote count. Continue reading
Congressional district map proposed by Va. Supreme Court special masters (The bubbles represent comments made by members of the public on Supreme Court interactive map)
by Dick Hall-Sizemore
The two special masters appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court to assist in redistricting have accomplished in about a month what the Virginia Redistricting Commission (“the Commission”) was unable to do in about nine months: produce single draft maps for the Congressional districts, the Senate districts, and the House of Delegates districts.
The draft maps and a long memo from the special masters explaining the process they used and the reasons for their recommendations can be found here.
An objective examination of the maps will lead to the conclusion that they are significantly more logical and sensible than the current maps or ones considered by the Commission. The districts are compact to the extent practicable and follow lines that make sense from a communities-of-interest perspective. There are no odd-shaped districts that really stand out. Any bulges or sudden incursions into adjoining districts are the result of the population equality requirement. Splitting of counties and cities is kept to a minimum. Continue reading
Ken Cuccinelli. Photo credit: USA Today
by Bruce Majors
Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2013, spoke to a breakfast of conservative activists Wednesday, and expressed glee about Terry McAuliffe’s election loss.
“Terry beat me by two and a half percent in 2013, and Glenn Youngkin beat him by two and a half percent this year,” Cuccinelli said. “When I ran against McAuliffe he had no record, having never held office, and he hid, making the minimal amount of campaign appearances. He was the fresh face. This time his opponent Glenn Youngkin was the fresh face, and McAuliffe spent the campaign whining that he was releasing hundreds of pages of White Papers, but no one paid any attention. Except journalists, who are Democrats, but even they fact checked McAuliffe and said he was lying about his record.”
Cuccinelli’s most interesting remarks were in reply to a question from an Arlington first responder, who wanted to know what Governor Youngkin or the Virginia GOP would be doing about county vaccine mandates for government employees. Continue reading
Virginia Supreme Court Building
by Dick Hall-Sizemore
The diabolical person who came up with the framework for the state constitutional amendment establishing a redistricting commission was not content with designing it so that it would fail due to partisan wrangling. He also injected partisan politics into the phase in which the state Supreme Court must come up with the plans.
If the commission cannot agree to plans to be submitted, the task falls to the Supreme Court. State law requires the Court to choose two special masters to assist it in developing the plans, one each from lists of three submitted by the leaders of each of the two political parties in the General Assembly. Among other requirements, the persons appointed by the Court shall have the “requisite qualifications and experience to serve as a special master and shall have no conflicts of interest.” The Republican list includes the following: Continue reading
Photo credit: ABC News
by Dick Hall-Sizemore
Now that the election is over, it is a good time to look at the integrity of the results.
Over the last two years, Democratic majorities in the General Assembly eased voter ID requirements, established the longest early election period in the country, and instituted “no excuse” absentee voting.
Republicans were alarmed. Donald Trump declared, “I am not a believer in the integrity of Virginia’s elections, lots of bad things went on, and are going on.” State Senator Amanda Chase charged, “I know how Democrats are cheating, and that info has been given to the Youngkin campaign.” Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, as late as a month before the election, called for an audit of voting machines. Continue reading
by Dick Hall-Sizemore
Local referenda, while important locally, are often overlooked in the media coverage of elections. However, the results of those elections may provide some insight into the mood of the electorate, at least in some areas of the state. Following is a summary of the results of the local referenda on the ballot last Tuesday.
Localities cannot hold a referendum unless authorized or required by state law. The most common referendum question has to do with the issuance of general obligation bonds. The state constitution governs when a referendum is required. Generally speaking, a county cannot issue general obligation bonds unless approved by the voters in a referendum. In contrast, cities and towns are not required to have a referendum. However, some cities have charter provisions restricting how much general obligation debt they can issue. Virginia Beach and Danville, the two cities that held bond referenda this year, fall into this category.
In addition, referenda are allowed or required on a variety of policy questions. This year there were referenda on the levying of additional sales tax, establishment of gambling enterprises, and replacement or relocation of monuments. Continue reading
by Bob Rayner
Scores of local and national media personalities are having a grand old time insulting the more than 1.6 million Virginians who elected Glenn Youngkin as our next governor. It’s the usual ignorant vitriol, spewed with such promiscuous regularity as to render it meaningless. This verdict of the people is attributed to “racism” of course, to “white grievance,” “white backlash,” “Trumpism,” “the ideology of whiteness” and so forth and so on. It’s just the nature of the “news” media these days — narrow and contemptuous.
People of goodwill are moving past all that, and the new governor-elect is leading the way. Youngkin is a good winner, an appealing combination of strength and humility, intelligence and determination. Gov. Ralph Northam deserves congratulations for greeting his successor with grace and civility, qualities that still matter.
Virginia Republicans have earned an opportunity to heal much of the pain and division spawned in recent years, but they must do so by emphasizing inclusion — a good word that’s been mistreated lately — and equal opportunity. Our new leaders must reach out to every kind of Virginian, while resisting the temptation to overreach the way Democrats in Washington have since January. They must emphasize pragmatic, incremental progress that improves everyday lives. Continue reading
Abigail Spanberger speaking at a meeting sponsored by the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Common Sense Coalition. Photo credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket
by James A. Bacon
As Democrats come to terms with their butt-whooping in Virginia and their near-death experience in New Jersey, they’ve been asking themselves what went wrong. Predictably, pundits from the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato to MSNBC’s Joy Reid have interpreted the shellacking as a racist White backlash. This delusional bubble-think is a recipe for continued Democratic electoral failure. Luckily for Democrats, they have Rep. Abigail Spanberger, representing my home congressional district, to set them straight.
The New York Times quoted Spanberger in its election wrap-up yesterday.
“We were so willing to take seriously a global pandemic, but we’re not willing to say, ‘Yeah, inflation is a problem, and supply chain is a problem, and we don’t have enough workers in our work force,’” said Representative Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat facing a bruising re-election. “We gloss over that and only like to admit to problems in spaces we dominate.”
Glenn Youngkin Photo Credit: NBC News
by James C. Sherlock
The left routinely reminds us that elections have consequences.
Well, indeed they do.
People ask what can Glenn Youngkin really do on day one of his administration. The answer — more and more consequentially — than is commonly understood.
I have written here repeatedly about long term corruption in the Board of Health and rigid and relentless progressivism in the Board of Education.
Those boards are very powerful in Virginia. They are charged with both writing regulations and oversight of the underlying departments. The current members of those boards need to go — en masse.
The new governor has the power to make that happen. Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
Larry Sabato has lost it. There was a time early in his career when the University of Virginia political science professor paid close attention to Virginia politics and spoke insightfully about it. But as he grew ever more successful as an author, director of the UVa Center for Politics, and a nationally quoted pundit, he increasingly became an observer of the national scene. As his focus became more national in scope, he lost touch with Virginia — at least the Virginia that lay outside the bubble of the Peoples’ Republic of Charlottesville — and he adopted the frame of reference common to the Washington Post, New York Times, cable news outlets, and Leftist punditocracy generally.
Sabato’s disconnect from Virginia political reality was abundantly clear in a series of interviews he gave MSNBC on election day.
When asked how Virginia could have swung from electing Joe Biden by a 10-point margin to giving an edge to Republican Glenn Youngkin, the Sage of Charlottesville noted Biden’s declining popularity and the Congressional Democrats’ circular firing squad. But, ultimately, he said, the gubernatorial election in Virginia was all about race. Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
Having swept the statewide offices and recaptured a majority in the House of Delegates, the Republicans are back in power in Richmond. At last Virginians have a chance to correct the follies and excesses of the Northam administration.
Republicans should enjoy the moment and bask in their victory. The post-election high will last until Jan. 15 when Governor Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, and the newly elected delegates take their oaths of office. By Jan. 16, to paraphrase B.B. King, the thrill will be gone. Democrats may have lost the election, but they have not surrendered.
Let’s recapitulate a few facts. While the election did vault the GOP back into power, it did so by narrow margins. Youngkin won with 50.7% of the vote. That is a slim majority, not a mandate. Miyaris and Sears won by nearly identical margins. Meanwhile, the Republicans will govern the House with a narrow 52- to 48-seat majority, while Democrats will retain a tenuous control of the state Senate. Continue reading
by James C. Sherlock
Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe proved that candidates matter, even in blue states like Virginia.
Jack Ciattarelli and Phil Murphy in yet bluer New Jersey have proven it again, no matter how that dead even race turns out.
I wrote here in early May that Glenn Youngkin and Jason Miyares would not only win the nominations, but go on to win the general election because of the education policies of the Northam administration.
I was proven right about that.
In the same column, however, I predicted that Terry McAuliffe would “read the room” among Virginia voters and ask Northam to fire his education leadership team.
I was wrong. McAuliffe doubled down. I am very happy he did not take my prediction as advice. Continue reading
I cast my ballot around noon today in the Maybeury precinct of Henrico County. The approaches to the voting place were studded with signs, mostly red, and in far greater numbers than I was accustomed to. The parking lot, though far from full, held more cars than in last year’s election. Despite the large number of citizens who had voted early — including Republicans this time — Maybeury definitely seemed busier.
Inside, Bacon’s Rebellion colleague Steve Haner was volunteering as usual as a poll worker, handing out ballots to voters. There was every indication, he said, that voter turnout would be even heavier this year than in last year’s presidential election. By noon, about 700 voters had cast their ballots — compared to a tad more than 1,200 all day last year. Interest in the gubernatorial race this year is intense.
Normally, high voter turnouts favor Democrats. I don’t think that’s what’s happening this time. At the risk of engaging in wishful thinking, this smells to me like a Tea Party-like wave election. We’ll find out for sure tonight.
Teacher too white
by Bruce Majors
In the waning days of the election, as Terry McAuliffe slipped behind in the polls, his campaign message was: Virginia public school students are now 50% non-white while Virginia public school teachers are 80% white. Only electing Terry McAuliffe will fix this.
There are a number of funny things about this desperate last-minute messaging.
One wonders if Terry McAuliffe knows who these non-white Virginia students are. If you visit Virginia schools you will discover many schools with nary an African-American student. I’ve taught as a substitute in about two dozen public schools throughout Falls Church and Arlington County (adjacent to Fairfax and Loudoun Counties which are so much in the news today). At Hoffman-Boston Elementary, a school near the Pentagon that was historically an African- American school before desegregation, I had a 3rd-grade class with one student each from Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, and China, and four from Mongolia. (There is a Mongolian immigrant community in south Arlington.) At Arlington Science Focus, a magnet school near the upscale Cherrydale neighborhood, the student body is majority non-white, with many Asian, North African, and Middle Eastern students, often immigrants. In Falls Church schools I would sometimes look out over a recess playground and realize that the second biggest demographic group, after white kids, were Sikhs.
What race of teacher would best “represent” in those classes? Continue reading