Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Joel McDonald


Villanueva Misrepresents Adrianne Bennett’s Position on Transportation

Not only did hopefully outgoing Delegate Ron Villanueva ditch the Lynnhaven River NOW forum without notice, he then tried to tell voters through a mailing that Adrianne Bennett wants to "double" the gas tax to pay for unfunded transportation projects.

If Villanueva had bothered to show up, he would have known that he wasn't telling the truth in his mailing.

Voters in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake deserve to know the truth, not only about Villanueva's record of supporting legislation cutting education, and criminalizing the medical choices of women; but also where Adrianne Bennett stands on these issues, and more, including transportation.

To find out where Adrianne Bennett really stands on the issues, visit her website by clicking here.

You can also watch the video the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of South Hampton Roads, and hear about the issues directly from the candidates.

Remember to VOTE on November 8th!

Ron Villanueva a No Show for Lynnhaven River NOW Forum


Ron Villanueva failed to show up for a forum hosted by Lynnhaven River NOW on October 5th. He had committed to attend, but unexpectedly didn't show.

North Carolina Republicans Lack Confidence in 2012

North Carolina Gay RightsFrom VB Dems

I know this is a blog focused on Virginia Beach, and politics in Virginia by extension, but the passage of the addition of a 2012 ballot measure to decided on an anti-gay marriage/civil unions amendment in North Carolina fascinates me. The North Carolina Senate passed the legislation adding the ballot measure yesterday.

My first thought was that this was 2004 all over again, where 11 states included anti-gay marriage questions on the ballot during the presidential election. The inclusion of these ballot questions is generally seen to have helped George Bush win reelection (this in addition to not raising taxes to pay for the wars, Kerry's inability to really connect with people, etc.).

Then, reading further into the details, I realized that North Carolina Republicans, who control both the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate, placed the ballot question on the May 2012 ballot, and not the November ballot. This was surprising, as I was sure they'd want to use the issue of gay marriage to fire up the evangelical right, which would likely boost turnout and support for the Republican presidential nominee.

Adrianne Bennett Gains Education Association Endorsements

Adrianne BennettFrom Virginia Beach Progressives

Adrianne Bennett, Democratic nominee in the 21st House of Delegates district captured the endorsements of both the Virginia Beach Education Association and the Virginia Education Association.

Bennett announced the endorsements in a tweet yesterday, "Thank you to the Virginia Educational Association and the Virginia Beach Educatonal Association for their endorsements. I am so honored."

On the issue of education, Bennett has said that she is, " dedicated to making sure children have access to quality education, from early childhood to college, and to working to make sure there are opportunities in Virginia Beach to have good jobs and safely raise families of their own."

Adrianne Bennett to Challenge Ron Villanueva in the 21st House District

Adrianne BennettFrom Virginia Beach Progressives

Adrianne Bennett, a local attorney and Democrat, is challenging Republican Ron Villanueva this November in the 21st House of Delegates District.

Adrianne Bennett grew up in Virginia Beach, attended public schools and Cape Henry Collegiate. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Sociology. She studied law at the University of Baltimore, graduated cum laude with her juris doctorate. Adrianne has dedicated her legal career to serving the under-served.

Ron Villanueva was elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, beating Bobby Mathieson by only 16 votes. It isn't an over exaggeration to say that the 21st District is winnable for Democrats this year looking at past performance and some general apathy by some who have supported Villanueva in the past. If Democrats can rally behind Bennett's candidacy, it's very possible that they can pick up this seat. Democrats don't currently hold any House of Delegates seats primarily representing Virginia Beach.

Adrianne Bennett spoke at the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee's May breakfast and at their annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner on June 2nd, where she stressed that he reasons for running boiled down to making sure that Virginia Beach is a place where her child and all children would want to live when they grow up, saying that she is dedicated to making sure children have access to quality education, from early childhood to college, and to working to make sure there are opportunities in Virginia Beach to have good jobs and safely raise families of their own.

Bennett is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee's Third Thursday Dinner and Social on June 16 at Kelly's Hilltop Tavern at 6:00 p.m.

Hampton Roads Young Democrats Seeking Charter

At the 2011 Virginia Young Democrats Convention held at William & Mary College in Williamsburg, VA, city delegates from Hampton Roads met to discuss the absence of chartered and active non-school based Young Democrats clubs in Hampton Roads. The result of this discussion was the decision to move forward to create a club that would serve all Young Democrats in Hampton Roads by pulling together resources and establishing Hampton Roads Young Democrats.

Currently, Hampton Roads Young Democrats is seeking Young Democrats from Hampton Roads who are willing to be charter members of HRYD. As a charter member, you'll help lay the foundation of HRYD by helping create the club's constitution, enabling HRYD to become an official chapter of Virginia Young Democrats, and electing its first officers at the first organizing meeting of Hampton Roads Young Democrats. If you haven't already, become a charter member today!  

Republicans Protecting Taxes?

Crossposted from VBDems

Michael Sluss of the Roanoke Times called it a "stunt designed to embarrass anti-tax Republicans," and perhaps it was. Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw amended a bill to include a provision that would prohibit some localities from taxing hotel rooms. These localities include Virginia Beach. Saslaw called the amendment the biggest tax cut since the state got rid of the car tax.

If you're a Republican who always runs on a platform of cutting spending and taxes, Saslaw's amendment would seem to fit into your mantra, right?

There's an issue, though. Cities like Virginia Beach rely on the revenue from the occupancy tax to pay debt on bonds, and the cities would be in financial trouble if that revenue stream disappeared.

On a party line vote, Saslaw's amendment passed the Virginia Senate, and Republicans were forced, through their vote, to admit that their rhetoric on taxes does not fit reality.

Some may cringe that the floor of the Senate was used to make such a blunt partisan point; however, I think it's an equal reaction to the continuous onslaught of finger pointing Senate Republicans have been doing this session. Saslaw's amendment, which he knew would never make it into law, was a "put up or shut up" moment for Republicans, and while I'm sure they'll whine about the tactics used, they were forced to shut up and vote against their own rhetoric.

The question voters need to ask is if a party has to vote against their rhetoric because it's the responsible thing to do, how responsible is that party in reality?

Don’t Let the Opportunity to Repeal DADT Pass

From VB Dems

With Congress now into the lame duck session, and with the House shifting to the right in January, the Senate needs to take advantage of what may be the last opportunity to repeal DADT.

From Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign:

The last time the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" came up for a vote in the Senate, Sen. John McCain led Republicans in a filibuster of the national defense spending bill that contains the repeal. They blocked it from an up-or-down vote - even though nearly 8 in 10 Americans now favor repealing the law.

Before time runs out, we need Senate Democrats to bring the defense bill to the floor and we need Republicans to stop threatening to derail the entire thing - including critical military equipment and pay raises - just to keep this discriminatory law on the books.

Is it just me, or is it completely absurd that Senate Republicans would hold troops' funding hostage, just so they can ensure that lesbian and gay soldiers have to keep lying or be fired?

It's going to take a lot more than a few anti-gay leaders in Congress to make us give up this fight. As long as injustice is written into our laws, we will not rest.

Join HRC and the Courage Campaign: call Sen. Mark Warner at (202) 224-2023 and Sen. Jim Webb at (202) 224-4024 and tell them to act this week.

Of course, the question is; what do Republicans in the Senate want in the defense authorization bill in exchange for the repeal of DADT? I haven't seen a good answer to that question, and I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this question in the comments.

Huge shout out to the Old Dominion University Young Democrats, led by Amanda Armstrong, who took 45 minutes today and found 45 people on campus to stop and make calls to Senator Webb and Senator Warner, asking them to support the repeal of DADT. Please join with them in calling (202) 224-4024 and supporting the end of discrimination in our nation's military.

Mark Warner Proposing Tapping Unused Tax Cuts

From VB Dems

Democratic Virginia Senator Mark Warner authored an op-ed for the Financial Times on his proposal for how Congress should approach the question of what to do about the expiring Bush tax cuts. The crux of his proposal is to extend the tax cuts for the 98% of the nation with an income of less than $250,000, while shifting the lost tax revenues that would be created by extending the cuts to the remaining 2% of the nation to targeted tax cuts for businesses to spur job creation.

Watch Video

Brian Moran for Democratic Party of Virginia Chair

Brian Moran and Joel McDonaldFrom Virginia Beach Progressives

The contest for the next Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia is heating up as Brian Moran announces his candidacy for the position and launches a website and Facebook page in an effort to win the seat.

As you may remember, I supported Brian Moran in the 2009 gubernatorial primary, and while I may not have always liked the way he ran his campaign, I continue to believe that he was the best candidate for the job at that time.  I endorsed him, volunteered, and stayed with the campaign right up till the end, which is more than what I can say I've done for other Democrats who have been too afraid to stand on principal in their effort to appease both the conservative wing of the Democratic Party and independents who easily swing to the right.

Admittedly, I'm still very new to the Virginia political scene. I was Obama'd into politics, but I've stuck around. I've been blogging about politics since 2008, after becoming involved in the Obama primary and general campaigns. I became involved in the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee in 2009, and then the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia. This year, I was elected Treasurer of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee and Vice-Chair for Technology and Communication for the LGBT Caucus. I've stayed involved, stayed connected, and I've been paying attention.

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