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Thursday News: Colbert on “Moron” vs. “F***ing Moron”; “Blood Pact With the N.R.A.”; VA Gov Race Either Close…Or Not

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 5.

  • Great to hear from Kellen Squire:

    Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Officially Endorse Kellen Squire

    BARBOURSVILLE, Va. – ER Nurse Kellen Squire (D-Barboursville) is honored to announce his endorsement by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV). As an ER nurse, Kellen believes women deserve quality healthcare. Equality, justice, and reproductive rights should be prioritized with women’s health issues.

    “One of the things that differentiates me from my opponent is our stance on women’s rights. I 100% support a woman’s right to choose. I respect women enough to let them have autonomy for their body. No politician has business in a woman’s healthcare decisions. When I get to Richmond, I promise to defend women against the constant barrage of Republican attacks.”

    PPAV was thrilled to announce their endorsement: “You have been a strong supporter of reproductive health and equality and we look forward to your continuing advocacy and to working with you for the women and families who depend on our organization.”

    Jennifer Allen, CEO of PPAV, indicated their support by stating, “Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia is proud to strongly endorse Kellen Squire for the House of Delegates. He is a proven champion for reproductive health, rights, and justice and will be a fierce leader on these issues as a delegate. His opponent voted to defund Planned Parenthood and block access to birth control, life saving cancer screenings, and HIV testing for over 23,000 Virginians. Every aspect of reproductive health is at stake in this election, and voters in the 58th House District should be proud to cast their votes for reproductive health advocate Kellen Squire.”

    Kellen’s work as an ER Nurse on the front lines everyday and his commitment to working families have helped him receive the endorsements from AFL-CIO and the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF). In the House of Delegates, Kellen will continue to fight for working families and women’s rights by supporting fair and equal pay for all, providing the tools, like broadband internet, to succeed in the 21st century economy, and pushing to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

  • From Gov. McAuliffe’s office:

    Governor McAuliffe Announces Facebook to Invest $1 Billion in Virginia

    ~ Major data center project in Henrico County will create thousands of construction jobs, more than 100 full-time operational jobs ~

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Facebook will bring more than $1 billion of new investment to the Commonwealth. Facebook is directly investing $750 million to establish a 970,000-square-foot data center in the White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County.

    In addition, due to a new renewable energy tariff designed by Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook, hundreds of millions of additional dollars will be invested in the construction of multiple solar facilities in the Commonwealth to service Facebook’s Henrico Data Center with 100 percent renewable energy.

    The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to the region and more than 100 full-time operational jobs. Governor McAuliffe met with company officials about the project on multiple occasions, most recently during his San Francisco Marketing Mission earlier this week.

    “I am proud to welcome Facebook to Henrico County, and we look forward to a strong partnership,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the event. “When an industry giant like Facebook selects Virginia for a major operation, it’s proof that our efforts to build an open and welcoming economy that works for everyone are paying off. For many years, Virginia has served as a key hub for global internet traffic, emerging as one of the most active data center markets in the world. Working with companies like Facebook and many others, we are advancing Virginia’s position as a global leader in the technology economy and a world-class home to innovative companies of every size.”

    Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, discover what’s going on in the world, and share and express what matters to them.

    “Facebook’s decision to locate its newest data center operation in Henrico County is a tremendous economic win for the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia’s information technology sector is booming, with nearly $12 billion in capital investment over the past decade and more than 650 data processing, hosting, and related establishments currently employing over 13,500 Virginians. Facebook, with more than 2 billion monthly users, is a powerful addition to the sector, and I commend the entire team who helped bring this company to the Commonwealth.”

    The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Henrico County, the Henrico County Economic Development Authority, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia. The project was also made possible through a new renewable energy tariff called Schedule RF, designed by Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook. The tariff will allow large energy users, such as Facebook, to meet their needs through the addition of renewable energy sources. This new product offering will ultimately lead to new business opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. As a secondary economic benefit, the renewable energy projects served under this tariff must be built in Virginia.

    A 2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce data center study estimates that construction of a data center of this magnitude will employ up to 1,688 local workers, provide up to $77.7 million in wages for those workers, and produce $243.5 million in output along the local economy’s supply chain during construction. The same study estimates an annual injection of $32.5 million into the economy once construction is completed.

    “Virginia has been a home to the Internet since the tech industry’s earliest days,” said Rachel Peterson, Director of Data Center Strategy at Facebook. “And thanks to Governor McAuliffe’s focus on making the Commonwealth a great place for investment, as well as Henrico County’s robust infrastructure and attractive business climate for data center development, we could not be more thrilled to locate our next data center here. When considering new data center locations, we not only look for clean and renewable energy solutions, but great partnerships within the local community, a strong pool of local talent, excellent access to fiber, and a robust electric grid. Henrico County and the Commonwealth of Virginia has it all.”

    “We are excited to welcome our newest data center campus to eastern Henrico County,” states Tyrone E. Nelson, Henrico County Board of Supervisors, Varina District. “We are a proactive community that strives to attract new businesses in key sectors and ensure the success of our existing businesses. The company recognized not only the robust and readily available infrastructure in White Oak Technology Park, but also the significant bottom line value of Henrico’s recent tax cut targeted specifically for data centers. We are pleased to add another stellar company to our corporate roster and look forward to supporting their future expansion here in Henrico County.”

    “Access to clean energy is joining reliability and price as important considerations when businesses decide to locate their operations,” said Robert M. Blue, President and CEO of Dominion Energy’s Power Delivery Group. “We are pleased we have been able to develop a solution for Facebook that meets all those requirements and creates a model that can be used by other large businesses as well. It opens the door to attracting more businesses and more jobs for the communities we serve.”

    “I thank Facebook for its decision to invest $1 billion in the Commonwealth, which represents a major victory in Virginia’s multifaceted efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” said Delegate S. Chris Jones, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee and the General Assembly’s Major Employment & Investment (MEI) Commission. “Economic development is a true team effort in Virginia, and I’m pleased that the MEI Commission was able to partner with and support the Governor’s office, VEDP, Henrico County, and others to help secure this new investment and job creation in Henrico County.”

    “Virginia has so much to offer tech companies and other growing industries, and I’m extremely proud that Facebook has chosen Henrico to be a part of its expansion,” U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said. “The Henrico Data Center will support thousands of good-paying construction jobs in the region, in addition to those who will eventually be permanently employed at the facility, and I’m confident it will have a positive economic impact in Richmond for years to come.”

    “I am so pleased to see Facebook invest in our community, bringing more than 100 tech job opportunities for the hardworking people of the Commonwealth,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Not only will Facebook bring more tech jobs to the 4th Congressional District, but this project will include solar panels to power this facility with 100 percent renewable energy. Virginia is once again an innovative leader in creating jobs and using renewable energy to power our community’s bright future.”

    “I welcome Facebook to Henrico County,” said Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan. “The region’s economy will benefit immensely from both the construction and long-term operation of their new data center. Facebook’s continued investment in Virginia is proof that the Commonwealth is the best place to do business for technology and internet-related companies.”

    “I am extremely pleased that Facebook chose to accept our friend request,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “Henrico County is rapidly becoming a top destination for the technology industry. Facebook’s decision to invest and locate its newest data center in Henrico County speaks volumes to the support the Commonwealth provides in our efforts to create a New Virginia Economy that is innovative and inclusive.”

  • STATEMENT: Dr. Ralph Northam on Facebook Investment

    Richmond — Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Facebook will build a $1 billion data center in eastern Henrico County. The project would create thousands of jobs during construction and more than 100 full-time jobs in a data center.

    Following Governor McAuliffe’s announcement of Facebook’s billion dollar investment in Virginia, Dr. Ralph Northam issued the following statement:

    “I’m proud of the progress Virginia has made under the current administration to expand economic opportunity for all Virginians. The latest investment from Facebook is a testament to the strong leadership of Governor McAuliffe, and further evidence that Virginia is a great place to live and to do business. The determined efforts of the current administration have kept our commonwealth growing and moving forward, and I’m proud to be part of that important development. It’s good for the economy, and good for Virginians.

    “Under the current administration, we’ve made great strides since the Great Recession. In the past four years, we’ve made 1027 economic development announcements resulting in $16.5 billion in investments and 215,100 net new jobs. Our unemployment rate has dropped, and we are well positioned to further grow our economy and create jobs across the Commonwealth. I’ve been privileged to be part of a great team that’s been building the New Virginia economy, and as governor I’ll continue that growth through programs like the G3 program — get skilled, get a job, give back. Facebook can see that Virginia is poised to fill new-collar jobs and become the workforce of the future.”

  • Record Breaking: Northam Raises More Than $6.4 Million in September, From 12,458 Contributions; Has $5.68 Million On Hand

    Northam has raised more than $22.8 million for the cycle from 79,909 individual contributions with 88% being $100 or less

    Northam has raised more in the month of September than any other Virginia gubernatorial candidate

    Richmond — Today, the Northam for Governor campaign announced it raised $6,420,477.29 for the last reporting period ending September 30, bringing Ralph Northam’s total amount raised this cycle to $22,803,322.21. The Northam campaign currently has more than $5.68 million cash on hand as of the September 30 reporting deadline.

    During the period covering September 1 – September 30, Northam for Governor and Stronger Together PAC raised $6,423,338.91 from 12,458 individual contributions.

    Between Northam for Governor and Stronger Together PAC, Northam has a vast grassroots network with more than 79,909 contributions, with more than 88% of those contributions being $100 or less.

    “Virginians from across the Commonwealth support Dr. Northam because they know he will bring economic opportunity for all Virginians, no matter who they are or where they live,” said campaign manager Brad Komar. “Ed Gillespie will be nothing more than Donald Trump’s lobbyist in Virginia by bringing his dangerous policies and tax cuts for the rich to the commonwealth. He has a record of only showing up when he’s paid to, Dr. Northam has a record of showing up to serve Virginians. The difference could not be starker in this election.”

    Total for the cycle — Northam for Governor and Stronger Together PAC
    Raised: $22,803,322.21
    Contributions: 79,909
    Cash on Hand: $5,685,906.93

    Northam for Governor and Stronger Together PAC (September 1 – September 30th)
    Raised: $6,423,338.91
    Contributions: 12,458

    Northam for Governor – (September 1 – 30)
    Raised: $6,420,477.29
    Cash on Hand: $5,656,991.51

    Stronger Together PAC – (September 1 – 30)
    Raised: $2,861.62

  • Rep. McEachin Introduces Bicameral Pollution Transparency Act
    This bill will ensure that we have the science and facts needed to plan smarter decisions for our future.

    WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) introduced bicameral legislation that will require agencies to fully consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

    “We already see more severe droughts, stronger hurricanes, widespread wildfires, and rising sea levels. There are clear and undeniable costs of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions – we have had enough,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “The next generation will have healthier lives and a stronger, more sustainable economy because of this bill.”

    Congressman McEachin introduced the House version of the Pollution Transparency Act. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Senate version.

    “We cannot stand by idly as the Trump administration blatantly disregards broad scientific consensus and economics,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “This irresponsible ploy to upend years of progress is playing fast and loose with the health of our nation’s children. Although we cannot avoid all of the effects of climate change, we can create market certainty about how much those effects harm our children and our economy. This legislation would ensure the federal government runs a transparent process-grounded in science, with public and industry input-to quantify those effects.”

    Congressman McEachin introduced this bill to ensure that federal agencies calculate a per-unit, dollar-value cost of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions, and make those figures a part of cost-benefit analyses of proposed policy actions. This legislation guarantees those figures will be derived from a scientific, evidence-based process and used consistently across government.

    “We need to ensure that the federal government is accurate and consistent in calculating the price of greenhouse gases when issuing regulatory and substantial procurement decisions,” said Rep. McEachin. “We can best address the root-cause of climate change by taking an intellectually honest and evidence-based approach to quantify its impact. This method will allow us to build a more resilient infrastructure and leave a better Earth for our children and our children’s children.”

    The Pollution Transparency Act will also require regular reviews and updates of those costs to responsibly account for the change in costs over time. This bill counters a directive from the Trump Administration to agencies to ignore existing metrics-uprooting years of progress and economic certainty-and an attempt made yesterday by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the revised BLM methane rule to change his department’s metric without any prior consultation or transparency.

  • VA GOP completely off the deep end, claims Ralph Northam will “do nothing to prevent radical groups from coming in and terrorizing our cities and university campuses.” Apparently, in addition to being off the deep end, Virginia Republicans are desperate with just over four weeks to go until election day. SAD!

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  • KEY VOTE ALERT: Tom Garrett and Dave Brat Vote To Pay For Millionaire Tax Cuts By Cutting Medicare

    WASHINGTON – Despite President Trump’s repeated promises to not cut Medicare or Medicaid, Reps. Tom Garrett and Dave Brat voted to pass a budget that would do just that, all to finance massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations.

    The House Republican Budget would cut Medicare by nearly $500 billion and slash Medicaid by $1 trillion, all in order to allow House Republicans to move forward with their plan to cut taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations, while leaving middle class families holding the bag. What’s more, this budget would keep alive Speaker Ryan’s wildly unpopular plan to turn Medicare into a voucher and the even more unpopular Republican Repeal & Ripoff health care plan.

    “Voters will not forget that Reps. Garrett and Brat just voted to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, and paid for it by slashing Medicare and Medicaid,” said DCCC spokesman Jacob Peters. “On top of that, voters are going to remember House Republicans’ reckless devotion to a wildly unpopular health care plan that would rip health care away from millions, raise prices, and slap an unfair age tax on American over 50, and they’ll be holding Garrett and Brat accountable at the ballot box next November.”