So I'm finally, getting off my ass and putting up the VA politics thread. I decided to do one, not because VA may or may not be a swing state, but since there seem to be a number of D&D posters (and probably a fair number of lurkers) that live in the state.
So let's start out with a story that most out of state people, including some foreign ones, are probably familiar with. As we all know Former Governor McDonnell was convicted of corruption. So that was awesome that a shitty politician finally got held accountable. So one might be asking how much time did he get for being found guilty of 11 felony convictions. Apparently, he only got to years, seriously fuck the judge for giving him any sort of leniency. Dude was a fucking scum bag that should have known better and was an elected official. Link
The story of about McDonnell being a shithead segues nicely into a major debate that has been going on in VA ever since he was indicted. The debate has been that VA has incredibly lax ethics rules and that it has serious corruption issues. There has been efforts to greatly limit how much in the way of money Virginia's elected officials can receive in the way of gifts (which is effectively unlimited with proper gaming of the system; especially, if the briber
gfter is a close "friend"). Unsurprisingly, the Republican led GA has done everything they can to prevent any sort of progress being made here. The most that has been seen is Governor McAuiffe issuing an executive order preventing those work for the state's Executive from taking gifts that exceed 100 dollars. It's possible that ethics reform could become a major campaign issue in the state's election this fall and may be one of the few things that could greatly disrupt the advantage that the state's GOP has gained by shitty gerrymandering.
This brings us to the next interesting thing that has been simmering for probably decades. Most that follow politics, that aren't elected officials or assholes that benefit from the current setup, are not happy with how the state does districting for elected offices. Frankly, it's a fucking crime and an embarrassment to democracy, since the people with the biggest level of conflict interest here are drawing the lines to as noncompetitive as possible. We've already had the 4th Circuit strike the current Congressional district map
, stating that the map did disenfranchise voters and giving the GA until the end of April to redraw it. Not surprisingly, the leadership of the GA intents to appeal the decision. This has led to a greater push to move the state from it's current shitty setup, to having an independent commission draw up the lines (a committee put together by the governor suggested that the best course of action would be to have 5 people on such a board, with two picked by republicans and another two picked by Democrats. The first four than vote for the 5th member. IIRC they would also not be allowed to see any data voting habits and had to try to keep localities as intact as possible, barring situation imposed by VRA). Incidentally, we also have this lawsuit now
, charging that a number of delegate districts have been racially gerrymandered to disenfranchise minorities. We'll see how this pan out, I'm hoping this finally leads to a better setup. Now anyone that has been paying attention, will not be surprised at all that the Republicans are opposing reform here every step of the way. Like ethics, this has potential to become a major campaign point. It's also worth noting that the GOP dragged things out until 2011 on redistricting, aka they held out until they had control of everything.
I decided to cover those two points first because they are the underlying root to much of the insanity that dominates current state politics. Also both are more or less derived from the shitty motto called "The Virginia Way," which I have determined to really mean "Shut up peasant, stop thinking and let your betters do as they please!" (much like how "Right to work," is really "right to fire people for petty reasons" and "State's Rights," is really "the feds need to stop telling us to not shit on our minorities.")
So then, let's take a look at the next big possible scandal to hit the state. It's looking like it will involve a major utility called Dominion Power, which many have argued, has effectively bought the GA. So it comes as no surprise shitheads on the Tobacco Commission were willing to give a Dominion Power partner money. Where people are irate, is that staffers originally recommended 6.5 million dollars, but ultimately 30 million dollars was handed out
. Staffers have said they were pressured by McDonnell's people to increase the amount, an allegation that McDonnell's lawyers are denying and Dominion Power is also claiming to have had no hand in this affair. Granted this wouldn't be the first time that the Tobacco Commission has been involved in questionable, like corrupt, dealings under Terry Kilgore (it's interesting to not how many family and friends of his have gotten money from the commission).
Dominion Power is has also been involved in other forms of fuckery. Mainly, they've been the biggest hindrance to State's green energy industry, seeming to everything they can discourage it. Another form of fuckery they are involved in is trying to muscle through a pipeline they have no legal authority to muscle through
. This is all ultimately going to be why VA isn't going to do anything to make sure the new EPA standards are to their advantage anytime soon. Also expect to see quite a bit of noise about Climate change in the 2015 election, it is a serious issues; especially, for the Hampton Roads are (Norfolk is already seeing flooding in places that have never flooded before) and Dominion Power seems to be squarely in team fossil fuel aka team of scummy asshole shitbags.
Other things of note:
We also have a circus of House of Delegates election coming up. Long story short Del. Joe Morrissey (D) 74th District, plead guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor (he had sexual relations with her). Then he half-assed things. First he resigned, which was the right thing to do, but so he could get a special election going, which is he running in. Not surprising the democrats want nothing to do with the asshole. The race will be 13th of January.
The tea party is trying to primary out Del. Howell. For those not in the know, he is the current House Speaker, so this is already hilarious. He also has connections with the shitty group known as ALEC. The tea party wants him gone because he backed the transportation bill a few years ago, one of the few non-shitty things that McDonnell did, which raised gas taxes, but only because the Marketplace Fairness Act failed to pass, which is on National Republicans.
McAuiffe is going to give a speech on the 14th, the usual state address. Probably worth watching or reading the transcript for, since that will give us an idea of what he wants to do and will try to accomplish, he might not get much done this year because this state's republican officials are awful.
Del. (Sideshow) Bob Marshall is still a fucking awful human being, having submitted this garbage
. (props to Lanz for giving me this link). I'd like to avoid making this a shit on the Republicans thread, but Marshall is such a fucking awful person and I'm trying to figure out why he keeps getting re-elected. I mean either most of his constituents suck because they are too damn lazy to vote his ass out or they suck because they are as awful as him. Like most of the garbage he submits, it probably won't go anywhere, but the VA GOP is really shitty (they do have some really shitty homophobia problems). You'll might remember he was the dumbass that submitted a bill to have VA create it's own currency.
We have elections this fall where all GA seats are up. Right now it's a shitty off-off year election and there is gerrymandering, so it heavily favors the GOP. Though we're months out from the election, which is an eternity in politics. It's possible that by the time fall rolls around, the public's mood towards the GOP will have soured greatly. They also will have a harder time misdirecting things as being the fault of the Democrats and they can't seem to stop themselves from doing stupid shit. Finally, there is always the chance that the state Democratic Party gets better at the campaigning thing, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening this time around.
1. This is a thread about VA politics. If it's about the state's GA, Executive, Courts or even something from the local governments. It should be fine here. Heaven knows, there are a shit ton of interesting things that the OP did not cover because I didn't want to make a super huge one.
2. This is not a shit on Republicans thread, I know the VA GOP is fucking awful and that's going to make this hard, but it can be done. AKA try not to post ever fucking stupid thing that one of VA GOP politicians says, there is depressing amount of such comment BTW.
3. Try to keep national politics stuff out, passing mention if it has some relevance, is fine.
4. If something starts to dominate the thread, probably spin it off into it's own goddamn separate thread.
I'm open to adding stuff to the OP; especially, resources.