Home Virginia Politics VA House Speaker Has Capitol Police Break Into Governor’s Secure Office Suite?!?

VA House Speaker Has Capitol Police Break Into Governor’s Secure Office Suite?!?


We already knew that Virginia House Speaker was an ALEC tool who likes to bully/demean women and deny health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Virginians (while sending $5 million a day of our taxpayer money out of state). So yeah, the guy’s pretty much heinous any way you look at him.  But even given al lthat, I didn’t really expect him to do something like this!

At the urging of House Speaker William J. Howell, the clerk’s office of the House of Delegates enlisted the help of the Capitol Police to enter Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s unoccupied, secure suite of offices on a Sunday afternoon to deliver the state budget.

The highly unusual entry on June 15 took place without the permission of administration officials or the knowledge of the Virginia State Police, which is in charge of protecting the governor. McAuliffe was not in the building.

Right, WTF? Does this sound like something out of Richard Nixon/Watergate break-ins or what?!? Amazing.

In response, McAuliffe Chief of Staff Paul Reagan wrote:

What occurred here Sunday is unacceptable…Two employees of the speaker of the House of Delegates were given access to an area of the governor’s office where sensitive files and materials are kept…For good reason, it is an area that is surrounded by three security perimeters. Even on a normal business day, very few people – including members of the governor’s Cabinet – can gain access to this suite of offices. We certainly do not expect to have agents and employees of the General Assembly roaming through these offices on weekends.

So now what? Criminal investigation into the actions of Speaker Howell and others who instigated this? If not, why not?

  • loudoun independent

    Howell told the House Clerk to deliver it to McAuliffe’s office. The Clerk asked the police if they could make this happen. The officer said “yes”, and escorted them. Seems to me that, outside the usual partisan finger-pointing by either side, the officer acted of his own volition and made a choice.  

  • Dan Sullivan

    on the deadline for signing the budget. Since corporations are people, offices must be Governors.

  • Statement from the DPVA:

    Yesterday, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported that House Speaker Howell forced the clerk’s office of the House of Delegates to occupy the secure suite of Governor McAuliffe to deliver the state budget — an entry made without permission from administration officials or the knowledge of the Virginia State Police.

    The Speaker’s actions show blatant disrespect to the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and are another example of just how out of touch he and his Republican colleagues are with the law and proper procedures.

    “On Sunday, Speaker Howell stooped so low as to participate in this underhanded gamesmanship,” stated DPVA Executive Director Robert Dempsey. “His actions adversely affected the entire Commonwealth by cutting the time in which financial experts could have reviewed the budget.”

    And what’s even worse is that Speaker Howell has no understanding of how ethically questionable this blatant breach of security was, as the Speaker’s spokesperson noted, “He believes they acted appropriately and has complete confidence in their integrity and professionalism.”

    If the Speaker feels that he has done nothing wrong, why deliver the budget to an area without permission? Why go behind backs, and have closed conversations to get your way?

    This is not the first time the Speaker and his colleagues have resorted to games and shady shortcuts to get what they want.

    “As a state legislator, Speaker Howell’s job and responsibility is to uphold proper procedures and ultimately to do what is in the best interest of the people of Virginia. His actions thus far have shown no resemblance,” said Dempsey.

  • From the DPVA:

    Republicans Spend 25K of Taxpayer Money to Speculate on How to Block Access to Healthcare to 400,000 Virginians

    As if backroom deals, shady tricks, and security breaches weren’t enough, House Republicans have now wasted $25K of Virginia taxpayer money to speculate on how they can sue to prevent 400,000 of their constituents from getting lifesaving care.

    Yes, it’s true. Virginia Republicans spent $25,000, paid for by Virginia residents, to hire lawyer Paul D. Clement to offer a legal opinion on how Speaker Howell and his extreme Tea Party colleagues can continue to block 400,000 Virginians from receiving access to healthcare.

    “It’s truly astonishing the lengths to which Republicans will go to deny access to healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Virginians,” stated DPVA Executive Director Robert Dempsey. “Not only have the Republicans tried every trick to block expansion, now they are spending tens of thousands of Virginia taxpayer dollars to develop more hypothetical ideas on how to prevent their own constituents from getting the healthcare they need and deserve.

    “It is both irresponsible and outrageous that 400,000 Virginians have to stand by and watch House Republicans play games with their lives. Virginians deserve leaders who are working to find solutions to the healthcare crisis here in the Commonwealth, not ones who are spending thousands of taxpayer dollars to hypothesize on how to make the problem worse.”


    Leadership decries latest step in House Republicans’ never-ending quest to deny Virginians care

    RICHMOND — In response to House Republicans’ release of a white paper arguing that Gov. Terry McAuliffe lacks the authority to close the coverage gap, Democratic leaders in the General Assembly issued the following statements:

    Said Senate Caucus Chair Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico), “Once again, House Republicans have put partisan ideology before the needs of Virginians. We have a chance to save hundreds of lives every year. House Republicans haven’t just ignored that chance – they’ve worked at every turn to thwart it. Good legal analysis examines a particular plan and then responds. The fact that Republicans are criticizing a plan that doesn’t even exist yet shows how desperate they really are.”

    Said Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D – Fairfax), “It comes as no surprise the House Republicans will go to any lengths to deny access to affordable health care to Virginians desperately in need.  We have one of the highest thresholds in the nation to keep people off Medicaid – and we have veterans, seniors and hard-working citizens caught in the coverage gap. Thanks to those same Republicans looking to build their case against the Governor’s authority, Virginians will continue to be denied life-saving health care. Where is Republicans’ plan to start serving the citizens they were elected to represent?”

    Said House Caucus Chair Del. Mark Sickles (D – Fairfax), “Back in January, House Republicans promised a plan to close the coverage gap. They never delivered – and today, they’re actually making it harder to insure Virginia families. Today’s report is just one more partisan roadblock that keeps hundreds of thousands of hard-working Virginians from accessing the quality care that they need and deserve.”

    Said House Democratic Leader Del. David Toscano (D – Charlottesville), “We could be bringing billions of our own federal tax dollars back to Virginia. Instead, we’re spending even more taxpayer money – some $25,000 – on House Republicans’ ideological crusade to stop Virginian families from accessing life-saving health care.”

  • kindler

    …and make a formal request to the General Assembly to submit the budget properly.

    Republicans play hardball 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  You can’t just respond to them by playing pattycake.  The only way to respond to forces like that is to crush them.  

  • blue bronc
  • The Richmonder

    They work for Speaker Howell, his own little private army: the VASTAPO.