Sunday News: “The GOP’s Three-Headed Monster”; “Virginia’s Cavalier Attitude Towards Ethics”

Sunday News: “The GOP’s Three-Headed Monster”; “Virginia’s Cavalier Attitude Towards Ethics”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, February 21.

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    Video: “JEB” announces he’s dropping out.

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    Video: Jake Tapper calls out Donald Trump for retweeting white supremacists

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    Video: Marco Rubio denies that he’s being endorsed by Mitt Romney.

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    Video: Chuck Todd to Ted Cruz: ‘Wait a minute, you finished third’ in South Carolina after Cruz says he had an “incredible evening last night”; also Cruz refuses to say TX is a “must-wing” state for him, which obviously it is!

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    From Gov. McAuliffe’s office:

    Governor McAuliffe Statement on Biennial Budget Proposals

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today issued a statement on the biennial budget proposals announced by both chambers of the General Assembly:

    “I want to thank the leaders in both chambers who worked hard on the budget proposals released today. When I released my budget late last year, I urged the General Assembly to work with me on a spending plan that is balanced, conservative and strategic about the investments we need to build a new Virginia economy. I am pleased that these proposals include historic funding for Virginia’s education system and build on the well-deserved pay raise for our hard working state employees that I included in my introduced budget. My staff and I will review these proposals in detail over the coming days, but I am optimistic that we will reach a bipartisan consensus that will expand on the great success we are having growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy.”

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    From the Virginia Senate Dem Caucus:


    RICHMOND — This afternoon, Senate Democrats made the following statements about SB 29 (the Senate’s proposed amendments to the current budget) and SB 30 (the Senate’s proposed budget for the coming biennium). Both budget bills reported from the Senate Finance committee on a bipartisan 15-0 vote.

    Said ranking member Sen. Janet Howell (D – Fairfax), “I am pleased to support greater funding for our public schools, including the state share of well-deserved raises for our teachers, and I am glad to see increased financial aid for college students. I am also very pleased to see needed investments in family violence programs and permanent supportive housing. As with any compromise, though, there are parts of this budget that I would change. Notably, it fails to close the coverage gap that afflicts up to 400,000 uninsured Virginians.”

    Said Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D – Fairfax), “The Senate budget is a structurally balanced plan, and it makes important, needed investments in infrastructure, economic development, and education. This proposal will help to create jobs and spur economic growth in Virginia, making our Commonwealth a better place in which to start a business or raise a family.”

    Said Sen. Louise Lucas (D – Portsmouth), “This budget invests in education. It gives local school districts the resources and flexibility they need to best address their own local challenges. It aims to minimize hikes in college tuition, and it increases financial aid. While I am pleased with this progress, no compromise is perfect. I remain deeply disappointed that we have failed to close the coverage gap.”

    Said Sen. Kenny Alexander (D – Norfolk), “One of our greatest accomplishments in this budget is that we are not tying the 2% pay raise for teachers to any estimates or forecasts of hitting financial targets, guaranteeing the raise regardless of the economic climate. Our teachers have been overworked and underpaid for far too long. This is something that I pushed for in subcommittee and I’m pleased that this is a piece of our budget going forward.”

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    From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:

    Legislators Use Budget Process to Advance Anti-Women, Anti-Family Agenda

    Proposed House and Senate budgets include provisions to further insert government into Virginians’ private medical decisions

    Richmond, VA – This afternoon, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates unveiled their respective outlines for the 2016-2018 Virginia budget. Despite a continuing outcry from pro-choice Virginians over this session’s proposed anti-women’s health legislation, the budget outlines contained multiple provisions to further restrict women’s health and rights. Both budgets included measures to strip abortion coverage for low-income women who suffer tragic fetal health complications, and allocated zero federal funds for Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s long acting reversible contraception proposal, modeled after a wildly-successful Colorado program that decreased unintended pregnancy by over 40 percent.

    “These extreme politicians just don’t get it,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Little over a week after the defeat of an abortion ban bill, anti-abortion legislators are still attempting to interfere in Virginia women’s personal medical decisions – this time by attacking the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable women and families.

    “Virginia women that have just received a tragic fetal diagnosis deserve our respect, our trust, and access to every medical option available,” Keene continued. “But instead of supporting low-income women and families in these complex situations, we once again see legislators doing everything possible to restrict access to safe, legal abortion. And the attacks don’t stop there – by refusing Lieutenant Governor Northam’s request to expand access to highly effective birth control, anti-choice legislators could very well keep thousands of vulnerable women from accessing the reliable, safe contraception they need.

    This is yet another example of Virginia legislators playing politics with the health of Virginia women and families, and ignoring the very people they were elected to represent.”