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Monday News: “The Logic of Assad’s Brutality”; Trump “called victim of deadly Trump Tower fire a ‘crazy Jew’”; Alexandria Dems Straw Poll Results

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, April 9. Also check out the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s straw poll results from last night (click on the image to “embiggen”); Justin Wilson won (143-77) for mayor, while the top six finishers for City Council were Willie Bailey (132), John Chapman (131), Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (107), Dak Hardwick (105), Canek Aguirre (101) and Paul Smedberg (100).

  • Quizzical
  • Long-time anti-LGBT bigot and theocrat EW Jackson has an, er, “interesting” definition of “pure evil”

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ewjacksonpureevil.jpg

  • Sen. Tim Kaine: “long past time for Scott Pruitt to go”

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/kainepruitt.jpg

  • From Gov. Northam’s office:

    Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Prohibiting Local Governments from Maintaining Higher Wage Standards for Contractors

    RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed House Bill 375, which would prohibit local governments from requiring their contractors to pay employees a higher wage than the state requires. The Governor’s full statement is below.

    April 9, 2018

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 375, which prohibits local governing boards from establishing provisions requiring a wage floor or any other employee benefit or compensation above what is otherwise required by state or federal law.

    Local governments can require contractors to pay certain wage levels in contracts with localities. These initiatives have provided localities with qualified, high-skilled workers and contractors and successfully addressed significant cost-of-living and workforce disparities in these localities.

    The ability of local governments to make this choice should be supported, not limited. Decisions regarding municipal contacts should be made by local leaders who fully understand local needs, and the needs of their workforce.

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.

    Sincerely,

    Ralph S. Northam

  • From Gov. Northam’s office:

    Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation that would Divert State and Local Law Enforcement Resources for Political Purposes

    RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed House Bill 1257, which would force state and local law enforcement agencies to use resources and manpower to perform functions that should be executed by federal immigration enforcement agencies. The Governor’s full statement is below:

    April 9, 2018

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, and after consulting with law enforcement and local stakeholder groups, I veto House Bill 1257, which imposes an unnecessary and divisive requirement upon localities regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    This legislation would force local law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions that are the responsibility of federal immigration enforcement agencies. It also sends a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.

    Localities have the right to determine whether to expend the resources and voluntarily enter into an agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Police divisions across the Commonwealth have a long tradition of engaging in community policing strategies, and many have determined that it is more important to develop a relationship with immigrant communities in order to keep all of those who live within the locality safe. This legislation would strip localities of that autonomy and force them to divert money and manpower away from their core public safety functions.

    Were it to become law, this bill would send a clear message to people across this Commonwealth that state and local law enforcement officials are to be feared and avoided rather than trusted and engaged. The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable reporting criminal activity and cooperating with local law enforcement investigations. This bill would make it harder for the men and women who keep us safe to do their jobs.

    There are many actions we can take to support law enforcement and keep Virginians safe. Placing new unfunded mandates on state and local public safety agencies in order to make a political point is not one of them.

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.

    Sincerely,

    Ralph S. Northam

  • From 32BJ SEIU:

    32BJ SEIU Praises Governor Ralph Northam for Veto of Anti-Sanctuary City Bill

    (Arlington, VA) 32BJ SEIU today responded to Governor Northam’s veto of a bill that would ban localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. 32BJ SEIU represents 18,000 property service workers in the D.C. area, including 4,000 in Virginia, who are overwhelmingly immigrants from Central and South America.

    The following statement is attributable to Jaime Contreras, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU and naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador.

    “Thousands of 32BJ’s immigrant workers are gratified to see our Governor protect their communities from the cowardly and counterproductive attacks by Republican lawmakers. The bill would put a financial burden on taxpayers, make our communities less safe and undermine law enforcement’s relationship with the immigrant community.

    “Northam’s election was a clear rebuke of this exact type of politics of hate practiced by Trump and Republicans in Congress. On Election Day, Virginians spoke loud and clear, they want a leader who will fight to improve the lives of all working people, regardless of their skin color.”

    Virginia Republicans are out-of-step with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is urging Congress to prioritize smart immigration reform, out of the belief that a growing and thriving economy will not survive without smart immigration reform.

    With 163,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country. 32BJ members hail from 64 different countries and speak 28 different languages, reflecting the immigrant experience of tens of millions of Americans.

  • From Gov. Northam’s office:

    Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Burdening Local Election Officials with Redundant Requirements

    RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed legislation that would require local election officials to investigate lists of registered voters, despite the fact that Virginia already has significant measures in place to preserve the integrity of the Commonwealth’s voter rolls. The Governor’s full veto statement is below:

    April 9, 2018

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 521. Senate Bill 521 requires local electoral boards to direct their general registrars to investigate lists of registered voters anytime the number exceeds the number of persons age 18 or older in that city or county. The bill would also require general registrars to investigate the lists of persons voting in an election when that number exceeds the number of registered voters in that city or county.

    This legislation is unnecessary and places onerous responsibilities on local election officials. Virginia already has robust list maintenance procedures in place. The list maintenance system is a complex process of cross-referencing voter registration across the United States to ensure that voters are not registered in more than one location. The Department of Elections already uses information from the United States Postal Service, the Social Security Administration, the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, and several other databases to ensure the maintenance of its voter lists.

    In addition, I have concerns about the implementation of this bill. This legislation would give general registrars investigative authority they currently do not have, but provides no government oversight for how they exercise that authority. This could lead to privacy issues and potential legal challenges for electoral boards, general registrars and localities.

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.

    Sincerely,

    Ralph S. Northam

  • Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Seeking to Change Redistricting Lines outside of Constitutional Process

    RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today vetoed House Bill 158, which would change legislative district boundaries outside of the redistricting process prescribed by the Constitution of Virginia. The Governor’s full veto statement is below.

    April 9, 2018

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 158. House Bill 158 authorizes the General Assembly to change legislative district boundaries outside of the decennial redistricting, in order to conform boundaries of legislative districts to the boundaries of local voting precincts.

    This bill violates Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia, which states: “The General Assembly shall reapportion the Commonwealth into electoral districts in accordance with this section in the year 2011 and every ten years thereafter.” This bill would allow the General Assembly to reapportion at any time of its choosing, regardless of the Constitutional mandate. This would jeopardize a Virginian’s constitutional right to equal apportionment.

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.

    Sincerely,

    Ralph S. Northam