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After close to four years and only one or two design changes, Decision Virginia is moving to a new cyber home. Starting Wednesday August 1st, this wordpress site will only serve as an archive of our old posts and we will begin posting new political content to our brand new Decision Virginia site.
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Sabato, one of the most quoted political analysts in America has more than 39 thousand followers on twitter and has made his opinion on the case very clear.
Among other things he called on Governor Bob McDonnell to get involved. Something the Governor did today when he sent the Board of Visitors a letter warning them that unless they come to some sort of resolution by Tuesday, he will ask for their resignations.
Kelly Avellino covered that portion of the story for NBC12 on Friday.
I spoke to Sabato at length about the UVA controversy, a situation that he has not given any TV interviews about. Our interview came before McDonnell issued his letter to the Board, but Sabato’s comments are still relevant considering the situation is still very much unresolved.
You can see his full comments below:
In a show of bipartisanship, this Friday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will greet President Barack Obama at Richmond International Airport and then attend the president’s event in Prince George County.
Obama is scheduled to speak about the economy at the growing Rolls-Royce plant in Prince George. Earlier this week, McDonnell announced that the company was planning a major expansion. Obama is expected to talk about that expansion during his remarks.
A sitting governor welcoming the president to his state is hardly breaking news, but in this highly contested election season it is no longer a given. Obama had made many visits to Virginia, many of them short jaunts across the Potomac. McDonnell has attended very few of those events, but he did attend an event in Norfolk during the president’s summer bus tour of North Carolina and Virginia. He also met the president on the tarmac in Hampton in the spring of 2010 before Obama’s commencement address at Hampton University. The governor rode in the motorcade with Obama and attended his speech.
All of McDonnell’s meetings with the president have been largely uneventful. This despite the republican governor being a big critic of Obama’s policies, a top surrogate for his potential opponent Mitt Romney and perhaps a candidate for Vice President.
Obama has dealt with at least one dust up on an airplane tarmac. Earlier this year, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer challenged the president over his immigration policy during their brief meeting after he de-planed. The exchange left behind a lingering image of Brewer with her finger pointed in Obama’s face.
Don’t expect anything that exciting this time around. McDonnell and Obama are both hoping to take part of the credit for Rolls-Royce expansion. Senate candidate Tim Kaine, a former governor and an ally of the president applauded both sides for their bi-partisan cooperation to make the deal happen.
We will have complete coverage of the president’s visit on NBC12, including live reports from the airport and Prince George.
Good Morning! It is election day. Perhaps the least dramatic of the four year election cycle, but there are still some important story lines.
Here is what we are following:
Control of the Virginia Senate: This is the story line that has the potential to have the biggest long term impact. A GOP flip in control gives Gov. Bob McDonnell‘s party control of all three layers of Virginia’s government. It will make his agenda much easier to push through, while at the same time giving him complete ownership of the Commonwealth’s success/failure for the remainder of his term.
If the flip happens it will also provide more evidence of McDonnell’s popularity in Virginia. He has campaigned heavily with republicans in tight races. Gaining the four seats necessary could send a powerful message to GOP Presidential candidates looking for a running mate that could help deliver a key swing state.
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney: This race took a sharp turn when republicans tried unsuccessfully to oust their chosen candidate Matt Geary. He wouldn’t go and that forced Del. Bill Janis to run as an independent and allowed democrats to field a strong candidate in Shannon Taylor. This race has had a little bit of everything and should lead to an interesting finish.
Voter turnout: With no statewide or federal candidates on the ballot, turnout is expected to be dismal. It could be 10% or less in some places. It will be especially slow in the Richmond metro, where there is not one truly competitive race in the General Assembly. In fact both parties rolled out their heavy hitters for statewide get out the vote efforts over the weekend, and they both ignored Richmond.
TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE: As always, I’m looking for the view from the ground. Tweet and Facebook me what you are seeing and I will post the dispatches below (pics too!). Then tune in tonight for the latest results on NBC12. Happy Election Day!!
From the ground…
Carmen Crater: I voted in Cumberland about 10:30 this morning…was quite busy for that time of day…took 45 minutesof standing in line to vote, but well worth it……………anyone who doesn’t vote has absolutely no right to give their opinions or COMPLAINTS…be part of the system and maybe…just maybe we can make things better…
Vic Tench I just voted in PG not many people there just a few people in front and behind me we were all in line no more then 3 min.
Pat Coffey voted at Beaverdam Elementary – saw John Cox there about 9:30 this morning.
Brandon Satterwhite Voted here in Henrico, I was the only one there.
Erin Sutton I voted at pole green elementary in Hanover co. Sean Davis was shaking hands. Sadly there where not too many voters… I’m hoping I just came at a down time.
Janet Murphey I am in Charles City County — voted a little while ago..small county didn’t have to wait too long (1 person in front of me)
Mark Hopkins I voted. A good number of people at the Chesterfield polls.
Andrea Stephenson Epps: Was # 488 at Swift Creek in Chesterfield 10 min. ago. Higher than I expected before the rush hour
Lynn Davis Cranmer Voted in rural King William County about 10:30 this morning. One person ahead of me, Two or three behind me. (Most people round these parts – vote before and after work, I think.)
Betty Paschall Tate No one there but me and the poll workers this morning at Hening Elem. at 7:45am. Please everyone get out and vote …it is a privilege!!!!!
Classic: Governor McDonnell happens to run into former Governor Doug Wilder at their Richmond polling location.
@TheBenBrown: I voted absentee. Today is just another day…
From my polling place in Chesterfield, pretty slow I was voter 220
Robin Belcher Liesfeld Yes – pretty steady at the Centerville precinct in Goochland. I see that’s also been busy in Hadensville. I predict a pretty good turnout county-wide. I believe there may be some surprises, because many Goochland citizens want change!
Susan Coral Moss It was a bit quiet in Chester (Bermuda District-Wells). I was the 271th voter at 10:30. There wasn’t any problems. I was expecting more fireworks especially with the heated Supervisor race down here in Chester.
Margie Rutherford Gausby I voted in Ashland. They moved the polling place. It was difficult to find the correct room at the school to vote, I think it will impact turnout there. I was ready to give up and I ways vote.
Mary Eldredge Only had to wait about 30 seconds to vote this morning at Beaufont Towers (Precinct 412). There were only three voters when I was there about 9:15.
Ron Gallier i left my house at 10 am to vote and back home at 10:25 am i voted at donahoe elem school
@rosscatrow: I saw a big empty gymnasium.
@DaeHarris: I saw basketball hoops, a few volunteers and 1 other woman voting
@KDavisDesign: lots of signs, friendly people willing to help, and lots of people outside the library shoving information in your face.
@marioc: pretty quiet over at Clover Hill Elementary. At 6:30am I was No. 42.
Connie Warriner Mason I voted in PG. Steady flow. Nothing to exciting…did have a paper jam but was fixed quickly with no issues.pretty quiet over at Clover Hill Elementary. At 6:30am I was No. 42.
Al Neill In Hadensville (District 1 in Goochland) they were ahead of the count for the same time last election day. There had already been over 100 voters by 7AM. generally I think about 700 vote.
Tommi Brandt Just got back from voting in Powhatan. Not very busy right now.
@JaysonRachael Lots of fog when we voted @ 6am!
Never one to follow the crowd, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) was one of only 9 Members of Congress to vote against a resolution to reaffirm “In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States of America.
Rep. Scott’s aide David Dailey explains the purpose of the measure:
H.Con.Res. 13 is only a non-binding resolution resolving that Congress “reaffirms” the motto and encourages the public display of the motto. The resolution does not have the force of law and would not be presented to the President for his signature if passed by the Senate. Even without this resolution, the 1956 statute (Pub. L. No. 84-851) establishing the motto would still remain the law of the land.
It was sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Chester).
Scott said the resolution is inconsistent with the pledge he took when he entered congress to “uphold the Constitution.”
Scott’s full statement is blow:
Scott Statement on Congress’ Vote Reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States
|WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement today on Congress’ vote on H. Con. Res. 13, a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions:”Today we face the highest deficit in U.S. history; an unemployment rate of 9.1% and a growing number of people losing access to unemployment insurance each day; schools that lack the resources to give our students a proper education; 17.2 million households that are food insecure; and children who by the very circumstances of their birth are injected onto a Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Instead of facing these challenges and creating jobs to help American people make sure they have a roof over their head and food on their table, we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and is under no threat of attack. In addition to diverting attention away from substantive issues, the resolution is unconstitutional.”When we were sworn in as Members of Congress, we took an oath to uphold the Constitution. This resolution is inconsistent with that oath and therefore I voted ‘no’ on the resolution.”
In addition, Congressman Scott’s statement from the Judiciary Committee markup on the resolution earlier this year contains a legal analysis and is below.
# # #
One look at the invited guests for this afternoon’s event in Chesterfield and you know what President Barack Obama will be talking about.
In a very small venue, the president is expected to lay out how his American Jobs Act will benefit local police, fire and rescue crews.
The president spoke this morning at a military base in Hampton. He was joined at that event by Governor Bob McDonnell. McDonnell, his wife and President and Mrs. Obama had a private, 10 minute meeting at that event.
Here is the dispatch from that meeting according to the governor’s office:
The Governor and Va First Lady Maureen McDonnell met privately with the President and First Lady Michelle Obama for approx 10 minutes.
It was a friendly visit.
The Governor and Mrs McDonnell welcomed them to Virginia and the Governor thanked the President for making the hiring of veterans a priority. The Governor let the President know that there is much common ground to be had on this important issue and he looks forward to hearing the President’s proposals on the matter. Ensuring that our veterans who have selflessly served our nation can find the good paying jobs they deserve is a top priority of the McDonnell Administration.
The Governor again made the case for federal assistance for Louisa County in the wake of the August earthquake and the two discussed Virginia’s coming appeal of FEMA’s initial rejection of that assistance request.
The Governor also spoke to the President about the strong support in this community and across the Commonwealth for making Fort Monroe a National Park, and his strong personal support of such a designation.
The president is expected here in Chesterfield at around 2:40. We will carry the event in its entirety on NBC12-TV and NBC12.com.
Thanks to Politico!
This week was Sunshine Week across the country, an effort to bring a attention to transparency and openness of government. We took advantage of the opportunity to introduce you to two of my favorite organizations doing incredible work shining a light on government business.
On Thursday we talked to Megan Rhyne. She is the Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. They lobby the state legislature to prevent limits on public access to government work. They also help average citizens obtain information by helping them with the FOIA process (Freedom of Information Act)
We talked about all of the good things VACOG is working on during a live interview on NBC12 First at 4:
Then on Friday we welcomed David Poole, the Executive Director of the ever expanding Virginia Public Access Project. VPAP is an incredible tool to track down everything you could ever want to know about about campaign finance. A resource that is very important in a state like Virginia that has no campaign donation limit.
VPAP recently expanded and is now covering donations to County Supervisors in Henrico and Chesterfield. An incredibly important addition to a group of leaders that don’t often get much attention.
My conversation with David is below:
VPAP is also doing some incredible work tracking the progress of redistricting in the Commonwealth.