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Just a Few Reasons Why I Say Good Riddance to Bill “ALEC” Howell as Virginia House Speaker

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Valerie Garner of the Roanoke Free Press actually broke the news two weeks ago that Virginia House Speaker Bill “ALEC” Howell would be stepping down after the current General Assembly session, but now the corporate media has finally caught up (and of course not crediting Garner – typical).  My attitude is mostly “good riddance” to this corporate tool, although things certainly won’t get better under Howell’s successor, the even further right-wing Kirk Cox. For now, though, let’s take a quick look through the Blue Virginia archive at why I say “good riddance” to “ALEC” Howell.

P.S. I’ve got to run out now, but there’s a lot more…will add links later. For now, enjoy (?).
P.P.S. The more I think about going from Bill Howell to Kirk Cox (or to Terry Kilgore, for that matter), the more I conclude that this is like getting rid of the awful corporate tool and right winger Eric Cantor and getting the even WORSE Dave Brat…as the Republican Party goes further and further off the far-right deep end.

Bill “ALEC” Howell Signs ALEC Letter to Google Blaming Climate Activists for ALEC’s Own Craziness: Yep, Howell’s climate science denier, good fossil fuel industry tool that he is…

VA Speaker Howell Leaps to ALEC’s Defense; Attacks Anna Scholl as Only Understanding “Little” Words: He’s a sexist as well.

Virginia Women’s “Strike Force” Condemns Speaker Howell for “Demeaning Rhetoric” Towards Women: As I was saying…

Democratic Senators Condemn Speaker Howell for his Actions (“Democratic Senators are condemning Speaker Howell for breaching security of Governor McAuliffe’s office to undermine the budgeting process and one is calling for the Speaker to apologize for his action–which the Richmond Times Dispatch editorialized was ‘small, petty, sullen, mean, insulting and about several hundred other pejoratives.'”)

Speaker Bill “ALEC” Howell Celebrates Denying Healthcare Coverage to 100s of 1000s of Virginians: Nasty.

ALEC in Crisis; Virginia Speaker Bill Howell Tasked With Helping Save It (“Over at The Guardian, they’ve got a major scoop about our pals at the far-right-wingnut American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and their money and membership woes following the Trayvon Martin murder.”)

Speaker Howell Rules Massive Redraw of Districts Not Germane

GOP Virginia House Speaker Takes No Action Against Member Indicted for Child Abuse

Small Consolation: Republican Howell Lobbies IN the Legislature (“Howell has lobbied for years to indemnify a corporate donor from lawsuits.”)

I Ask Bill “ALEC” Howell a Simple Question. Of Course He Has No Answer.

  • Transcript of Howell’s statement.

    Since the House has returned to the Morning Hour, I ask the members to indulge me a moment while I take this opportunity to share some news.

    Serving in this esteemed body which is the Virginia House of Delegates for the last 30 years has been a distinct privilege. Likewise, serving as the Speaker of the House for 15 years now truly has been the greatest professional honor of my life.

    While I obviously will miss all of you and while I will always look back with only fondness at every day I served here, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election to the House.

    Cessie and I are so grateful for the opportunity that we have had to serve. There truly are no words to fully describe the joy and fulfillment we have received from this incredible opportunity for public service. But, we also know there is much more joy and fulfillment to come, albeit differently and beyond Capitol Square and this body. We are blessed to have two good sons and seven energetic grandkids. We have our youth! And, we cannot wait to take some time together to travel, spend more time with our family and, frankly, just to relax together.

    The House of Delegates truly is an historic institution. I love it dearly. I believe it represents the hope, enduring strength and resiliency of our exciting and ongoing experiment in representative self-government.

    If America is a shining city on a hill, then our Virginia House of Delegates is the brightest light atop the highest tower.

    As a Delegate and as Speaker, I always have tried to serve in a manner worthy of that stature.

    I believe the Office of Speaker rises above partisan politics. This is an institutional role, with constitutional and other attendant obligations that transcend the fractured moments that often drive our politics.

    I also always have tried to be open, accessible and, most of all, fair.

    When I became Speaker in 2003, I pledged to lead this historic chamber with the honor and integrity it deserves and to faithfully uphold the dignity of this constitutional office.

    Throughout my tenure, when faced with difficult decisions that go along with this Office, I have strived to reflect those enduring values. And, in practice, I always sought to put what’s good for the whole institution, and all that it represents, ahead of any other interest.

    I pray you will judge my time as Speaker on that more than anything.

    When I accepted the Speaker’s gavel, I reminded myself and others that what kind of people we are, and how we treat one another, is as important as the bills we pass and the laws we make. May we never lose sight of this worthy aspiration.

    Like you, I understand that our mission is so much larger than ourselves. Ultimately, our purpose is continuing to fulfill the four-century-old mission of Virginia – preserving human freedom and advancing opportunities for all.

    So today, I hope you join me in taking pride in everything that this body – Republicans and Democrats working together more often than not – has accomplished over the last 15 years. The House of Delegates has been a stable and consistent factor in reforming and improving state government for the past decade. Our shared enterprises, through difficult and good times alike, has made our Commonwealth stronger and more prosperous. And together, I believe we have enhanced the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens we are so privileged to represent and serve.

    Now and always, I am optimistic that this House – the oldest continuous representative law-making body in the New World – will continue to inspire and fulfill the enormous potential of Virginia’s bright future.

    So, I will close by saying from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

    I am so grateful for the trust and faith you placed in me 15 years ago. And, I appreciate that you have continued to maintain that trust in me. The many friendships that have made here over almost 30 years are worth more than any bill I have ever championed or passed. I am proud to know you all and honored to serve with each of you.

    All of you are very talented individuals and highly capable leaders. You are valuable parts of something much bigger than any one of us. So, it is easier for me to make this announcement now and to leave next year knowing that this institution will continue to thrive.

    Thank you. May God Bless you. May God Bless our great country and wonderful Commonwealth. And, may God continue to Bless this historic House of Delegates.

  • Love the corporate media propaganda – Bill Howell was “pragmatic”??? Riiiiight.

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/billhowellpragmatic.jpg

  • Joe Mancini

    Aside from all the public reasons to despise Howell, I have personal reasons: in 2007, when my wife ran for and won a seat on the Stafford County School Board, Howell bankrolled the loser’s effort to “contest” the results, claiming that “thousands” of votes had been “disqualified” for no reason other than to assist my wife. Howell thought that he could scare us off and get my wife to resign her seat rather than incur the tens of thousands a legal defense would involve. He was wrong. Thanks to all those who helped us out, and yes it did cost us about what a new car would cost, but this frivolous case was thrown out of court by a three-judge panel “with prejudice”. I scowl at ALEC every time I see him at the Giant or around town. Good riddance! I will do what I can to elect a Democrat to this seat in November.