Virginia’s Special Session: Political Theater

by Kerry Dougherty

Gov. Ralph Northam’s “special session” of the General Assembly that begins today in Richmond is quickly turning into political farce.

What began as an emergency convocation of lawmakers to address the budget catastrophe brought on by Northam’s shutdown of the commonwealth and was expanded to include law enforcement reforms, now threatens to become a legislative free-for-all.

Members are merrily introducing bills that do everything from honor notable Virginians — those couldn’t wait until January? — to bills that prevent police officers from stopping cars when they detect the smell of marijuana.

(Odd, I couldn’t find a companion bill that prevents cops from detaining drivers who reek of alcohol.)

On the eve of the session, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, was charged with not one, but two felonies in connection with the June protests that culminated in the toppling of a Confederate monument that nearly killed a man.

“Lucas and six others, including local NAACP leaders and a local school board member, were charged with conspiring to commit a felony, and felony injury to a public monument in excess of $1,000,” Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene said Monday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch…

“Lucas, reached on her cellphone, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

The Richmond newspaper pointed out that Democrats hold a slim 21-19 majority in the senate. If Lucas doesn’t show in Richmond many of the far-left items on the Democrat’s wish list could die with just a single defection.

Naturally, Northam couldn’t resist race baiting when the charges against Lucas were announced.

“It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform, the first Black woman to serve as our [president] pro tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges,” Northam tweeted. “[Sen. Lucas], I look forward to seeing you in Richmond tomorrow – so we can get to work.”

Um, someone tug on the governor’s sleeve and tell him that Portsmouth’s police chief, who announced the charges, is also a black woman.

Given the opportunity to meet in the summer, the lawmakers so far have introduced 108 bills and resolutions. They include measures that make it more difficult to obtain a concealed carry permit and easier to be paroled from prison.

There are bills to ban choke holds by police and an odious measure that would make an assault on a police officer a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

The most distasteful of the lot?

SR502, a resolution “Commending the Honorable Nolan Dawkins” who recently retired from the Alexandria Circuit Court.

If Dawkins’ name seems familiar, it’s because he was the judge who ignored objections from prosecutors in April and released accused rapist Ibrahim Bouaichi from jail on a $25,000 bond and didn’t require home monitoring.

On July 29th Bouaichi gunned down his rape victim, Karla Dominguez.

I don’t care what sort of illustrious career this judge enjoyed during his 26 years on the bench, honoring him less than three weeks after this gruesome murder is offensive.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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3 responses to “Virginia’s Special Session: Political Theater

  1. ““It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform, the first Black woman to serve as our [president] pro tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges,” Northam tweeted.”

    I IS deeply troubling that an elected official would engage in such irresponsible and illegal behavior. And the charges ARE unusual – after all, only a small percentage of the population is stupid and irresponsible enough to participate in illegally toppling a multi-ton publicly-owned statue on to another human being.

  2. from the RTD article:

    “…a video from the afternoon on June 10 posted on Lucas’ Facebook page weeks ago shows the lawmaker saying before a group of officers that the monument is public property and that police cannot arrest protesters.”

    ” In an interview with Norfolk TV station WAVY, Lucas said the chief “abdicated her responsibility to maintain peace and failed to uphold the law” during the June 10 protests.”

    So which is it, Ms. Lucas? Should the police uphold the law or not? The very definition of hypocrisy,

  3. The only thing “highly unusual” is that one of Il Duce’s adherents was actually charged with a crime. In most dictatorships enforcement of the law is reserved for political opponents of the dictator and the “little people”. I mean if a politician for life like Louise Lucas isn’t above the law, who is? Could Generalissimo Northam be losing his grip on power?

    Does anybody really believe that Louise Lucas will be held without bail and prevented from attending the General Assembly session?

    From what I’ve read Sen Lucas is on videotape allegedly participating in the tearing down of public property resulting in significant injury. Some reports claim she was an instigator of the action filmed shouting at police, “You can’t arrest these people.”. Apparently she was wrong on that one. In fact, as the article linked below states …

    “The charges are part of ongoing tensions among local leaders in Hampton Roads. Lucas in June asked for Greene’s resignation. In an interview with Norfolk TV station WAVY, Lucas said the chief ‘abdicated her responsibility to maintain peace and failed to uphold the law’ during the June 10 protests.”

    So, first the Chief failed to uphold the law during the June 10 protests but now that arrest warrants have been secured it’s a travesty. If it wasn’t for double standards liberals would have no standards at all.

    https://richmond.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/state-sen-louise-lucas-facing-2-felony-charges-over-toppling-of-confederate-statue-in-portsmouth/article_a8f2d716-c2e2-5f2f-a456-b461866628d1.html

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