Friday, October 30, 2020
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Video: Governor McAuliffe Kicks Off 2015

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It was Creigh Deeds' event, but guest Terry McAuliffe ran with it, ringing out the first and in the second year as Virginia's 72nd Governor. McAuliffe made his first campaign stop of 2015 supporting his former gubernatorial rival and using the opportunity to tune up on this year's legislative agenda.

A year after taking office, the Governor took the opportunity to climb on the soapbox to emphasize the issues he ran on and report progress. He enumerated a number of issues, but jobs and healthcare were the bookends claiming substantial progress on one and frustration with the other. On jobs, he pointed out that the state faced strong headwinds, losing nine billion dollars in defense contacts the last three years; more than any other state in the country. So, he has set out re-purposing Virginia's economy to make it less reliant on the federal government. That is what he thinks about every single day.

Additional issues addressed:
  • Women's rights
  • Marriage equality
  • Responsible gun ownership
  • Mental/behavioral health
  • Reformed Standards of learning
  • Daycare centers
  • Restoration of rights
  • Building broadband

McAuliffe announced that there would be a booklet published today, the first anniversary of his inauguration, outlining accomplishments during his first year in office. Highlighting successes on jobs, he said his whole emphasis is on how to build that new economy. And in that effort he has become the most travelled governor in our nation's history. The results so far include 265 economic deals and $5.4 billion in direct investment; double what any governor has ever done on job creation.  

AG Herring Files Brief for Grant of Cert at SCOTUS

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The Office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has filed its very convincing brief to the Supreme Court of the United States detailing why it feels that the SCOTUS should grant certiorari and rule finally on the merits of the right of same-sex couples to access civil marriage equally.

See the full brief on Scribd.

It is hard to see a more demonstrative example of the importance of elections than the qualify of this brief, when compared to the moronic chickenscratch that an AG Obenshain would have stapled to the wall.

While I am disappointed that AG Herring also continues to ask for a stay of the 4th Circuit's decision until final disposition of this case at SCOTUS (either a ruling on the merits, or denial of cert), the quality of the legal arguments entered on my behalf is superb. Every day these rulings from Judge Wright Allen and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals are delayed/enjoined costs me and my partner money in health insurance benefits and other more tangible marriage benefits (ably described in the brief).

Still, the road to a final decision is nearing the final hurdle. Thanks to AG Herring and his team for being on the right side, and forcefully so.

Dwight Jones Choice…Autophagic Attack

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In February 2011, President Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder not to defend DOMA, and I believed we had jumped a major hurdle on our way to civil rights for all our citizenry.  Don't Ask Don't Tell had been repealed in 2010.  Then came the push by VP Joe Biden, and the President announced on May 9, 2012, he was in favor of  marriage equality.  Then in June 2013 we had the Supreme Court decision on DOMA, in which  Justice Scalia foretold of state marriage bans being challenged across the country.  Those lawsuits were filed, some have been heard before federal courts across the country and to date all have been found to be unconstitutional.

Last year during the Commonwealth's statewide elections, I repeatedly heard our candidates speak in favor of full and equal civil rights for all of the citizens of the Virginia including marriage equality. Newly elected Attorney General Mark Herring stood tall when he refused to defend Virginia's same sex marriage ban because he believed it to be unconstitutional.

Former DNC Chairs Support Marriage Equality . . . Who’s Missing?

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Interesting development in the push to include marriage equality as a plank in the Democratic platform adopted in Charlotte later this year:

Four former chairs of the Democratic National Committee called on the party on Wednesday to embrace marriage equality in the 2012 Democratic platform.

"We are proud that the Democratic Party fights for working families, economic justice, and equal opportunity for all," said Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman and David Wilhelm in a joint statement. "Times change but our principles must always remain strong. That is why, as former chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we stand with Freedom to Marry, 22 Democratic senators, Leader Nancy Pelosi, and more than 35,000 Americans in urging the Party to include a freedom to marry plank in the platform that is ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this September."

Dean, the former governor of Vermont, served as DNC chair from 2005 to 2009. Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman led the organization from 1997 to 1999. Fowler was South Carolina state party executive director and CEO of the DNC convention in Atlanta in 1988 and was DNC chair from 1995 to 1997. Wilhelm ran the day-to-day operations of the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign and was DNC chair from 1993 to 1994.