These emails are the latest sign Speaker Bill Howell and Terry Kilgore used state jobs as leverage in their scheme to deny health care to 400,000 Virginians. These sort of underhanded schemes and backroom deals are unacceptable.
The time has come for our Delegates in Richmond to come together and close our Commonwealth's current health care coverage gap for the 400,000 low-income Virginians who need Medicaid expansion to pass in Virginia!
Last night, health care advocates, Delegate Marcus Simon (D-53), Virginians who fall into the coverage gap and a coalition of health care and human service providers came together at the Lorton Community Action Center. From the facility's food pantry they called upon all Virginia representatives to work together on a budget compromise that expands badly needed health care to hundreds of thousands of working Virginians and their families who need it now.
Speakers included Virginians who fall into the coverage gap, Delegate Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax County), Don Owens, Chair of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Martha Wooten, Executive Director, and Dr. Basim Kahn, Medical Director, of Neighborhood Health, a community health center that serves Fairfax County and Alexandria. Please find all their amazing stories and calls to action after the jump.
Yesterday afternoon, federal prosecutors indicted Bob and Maureen McDonnell on charges stemming from the Star Scientific gift scandal. These charges only underscore the need for real ethics reform in Richmond. This morning, ProgressVA Education Fund released a new report examining how effective proposed ethics reform legislation would be. The bottom line?
Thanks to massive loopholes, the leading ethics reform proposal (HB1211) would not have banned a single gift in 2012.
The need for real ethics reform legislation has only been amplified by former Governor McDonnell's gift scandal and yesterday's indictment. The House of Delegates will begin considering ethics reform bills this afternoon and the Senate will act soon. It's vital you contact your representatives now and tell them ethics reform that leaves out the reform is unacceptable.
Key findings from ProgressVA Education Fund's report are listed below the fold.
"A program that can help our neighbors access health care while saving money and creating jobs for our state should be a no-brainer," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "Speaker Howell's bird-brained opposition to expanding Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians, including the working poor and veterans, has earned him our 2013 Turkey of the Year award. Congratulations, or something."
The amount of nonsense can be overwhelming, and their bumper sticker logic can be mind-boggling. But don't despair! We have everything you need to set the record straight on Obamacare. Mashed potatoes not included.
Check it out below the fold:
State Senator Mark Obenshain has spent his career building a reputation as a staunch conservative. So, Obenshain's recent statements distancing himself from his own record are more than a bit curious. Today, ProgressVA released a new video examining Obenshain's record.
"Virginians deserve to know where Mark Obenshain stands," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "Virginians can see through this sort of doublespeak, where politicians say one thing and do another. The truth is Mark Obenshain has worked to ban abortion in Virginia, prosecute women at their most vulnerable, and deny LGBT Virginians protection from being fired because of who they love. Those aren't Virginia values."
Background below the fold.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the District of Columbia's ethics board has fined Council Member Marion Barry $13,600 for accepting illegal and unethical gifts. Barry was sanctioned with a fine equal to double the amount of the gifts he received. (Washington Post, July 11, 2013)
Earlier this week, the Washington Post also reported that Governor Bob McDonnell and his family have now received, directly and indirectly, at least $145,000 from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Star Scientific not only has an ongoing tax lawsuit versus the state of Virginia, but Governor McDonnell and his wife have also been major supporters of the company, a relationship for which McDonnell is currently under federal investigation. (Washington Post, July 9, 2013)
If Governor McDonnell was held to the same ethical standard as DC City Council Member Marion Barry, McDonnell's fine of double the gifts he has allegedly received would equal $290,000. Maybe it's time for Virginia politicians to take that whole "we're better than D.C." line to heart and take ethics reform seriously.
The action comes the same day as Virginia's medically unnecessary Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers (TRAP) go into effect. Ken Cuccinelli was instrumental in getting these restrictions passed, bullying the Virginia Board of Health to ensure their passage.
Supporters and volunteers were not allowed entry into the Attorney General's office and no one from the office would accept the award.
Virginians know how this works -- corporate sponsors who fund multi-million dollar political campaigns call the shots once their candidates are in office. Given Ken Cuccinelli's history of memory lapses when it comes to fully reporting gifts from well-heeled friends like Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Virginians certainly have cause to worry.
Cuccinelli has already received $50,000 from Koch Industries for his gubernatorial campaign and tonight's invitation plainly states, "Please note that 'Ken Cuccinelli for Governor' is able to accept unlimited corporate, personal, and PAC contributions."
What's with the Koch addiction? Cuccinelli's priorities are far more in sync with David Koch than with Virginia families. Consider: (cont'd)