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Photos: Where Were the 2017 Virginia Dem LG Candidates on Labor...

While most of us are focused intensely on the 2016 presidential race, as well as on crucial House races like LuAnn Bennett vs. Barbara...

Jeff Schapiro: Presumptive 2017 Democratic VA Gov Nominee Ralph Northam...

The following (see below), from Virginia political guru/RTD reporter Jeff Schapiro's Facebook page, makes it look like it's a done deal that Bobby Scott...

Audio: Bobby Scott, Donald McEachin, Susan Swecker Blast Tommy Norment for...

See below for a press release (I've added a few more quotes as well) from the Democratic Party of Virginia on their conference call...

Wednesday News: Trump Descends to “Depths of Indecency;” GOP Takes “Fringe”...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, August 10. Also, check out the video of Tim...

If Clinton/Kaine Win Virginia by 12 Points, What Could That Mean...

On Sunday, CBS News came out with a poll showing Clinton/Kaine defeating Trump/Pence in Virginia by 12 points (49%-37%). There have been other polls...

Video: Rep. Bobby Scott, Gov. McAuliffe Speeches at Virginia Dems Welcome...

Videos courtesy of Shannon Fisher - great work! Rep. Bobby Scott says Tim Kaine on the Democratic ticket offers "a stark contrast between the yelling,...

If Tim Kaine Becomes VP, Who Might Gov. McAuliffe Appoint to...

Good question by Virginia Democratic activist J.C. Wilmore: Hypothetical question: if Tim Kaine gets the VP nod and Dems win 2016, who do the VA...

Shad Plank Plunked

 photo P4180899.jpgThis year's version of the annual event just outside of Wakefield accomplished little. Though there was a hint of the lunacy usually present at Shad Planking; what there wasn't was much of a crowd nor interest. The biggest symbol of the times was the state-maintained road to the event.

There really wasn't much in the way of genuine politics going on. It was more of an alumni meeting than a political rally; more of a gathering of cronies practicing the Virginia Way interrupted a couple of times by a couple of hecklers. It seems that the last few seasons of rowdies have driven away the attendees who used to come show some civil revelry on behalf of their candidates. And now, with no one in any race to rally around, the most demonstrative types stayed home; and that would leave a big hole in what had become this Ruritan charity event attendance.

Additionally the candidates themselves, apparently led by the Republicans, declared a tacit truce on the sign war; they realized surrender was the better part of valor in that battle. There were a few signs along the road, but not the plastering to which we've become accustomed; maybe a dozen on 460 coming in from Richmond.

And then there was that road. We've discussed here the slow strangling that the McDonnell administration orchestrated during his four years in office in the name of balancing the budget. Well, now it is manifest here. What has been a well-maintained macadam rural route has deteriorated. In fact, the last half mile or more to the event parking area entrance and everything beyond is now feathered with gravel to cover the potholes. It really is symbolic of the treatment of Virginia's infrastructure, from schools and social programs to health care and public safety; not to mention the fraud perpetrated on the Virginia Retirement System when McDonnell announced that the unfunded obligations had been resolved.

There is more to discuss about what was less and that will come in a subsequent post. But if this level of enthusiasm is any indication of the turnout for this fall's election, the margin will come down to the grassroots get-out-the-vote effort. Problem is, for both sides, yesterday showed the grassroots really haven't been fertilized.

Virginia Republicans Flunk Latest Congressional Conservation Scorecard

The latest Congressional scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters flunks every single Virginia Republican, including House members like Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman and Frank Wolf who'll be trying to sell themselves as moderate in November. Committed opponents of clean air & water, public health, and wildlife like Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt all scored in the teens. Meanwhile, Virginia House Democrats Gerry Connolly, Jim Moran and Bobby Scott all scored 100%. On the Senate side, both Sen. Mark Warner and Jim Webb scored 100%, though given that both support oil drilling off Virginia's shores and Webb has opposed clean air regulations, neither is perfect on conservation.

What drew the LCV's ire? Every single Republican voted for the House Republican budget resolution to gut the Clean Air Act & Clean Water Act, to protect billions in tax giveaways for oil corporations that banked $137 billion in profits in 2011, and to weaken offshore drilling safety rules even as they pushed to bring oil drilling to the Virginia coast:

Representatives Bobby Scott, Gerry Connolly Rip Balanced Budget Amendment

I strongly agree with both Rep. Bobby Scott (see video) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (see his statement below). This amendment is gimmicky nonsense -- counterproductive, dangerous, and utterly mindless demagoguery. Congress should NOT pass this monstrosity.
Statement on Balanced Budget Amendment
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, VA 11
U.S. House of Representatives
November 18, 2011

Today this House will vote on the momentous issue of whether to amend the Constitution of the United States. All of us should understand that this is no symbolic vote. This is not a routine legislative act, not another amendment or bill we are considering. We are asked to consider amending the most sacred document of a free people with a provision not contemplated by the Founders. The argument is propounded that the times demand it and that there is no other choice, given the size and import of our current debt posture.  Public opinion favors it.

But as legislators we must hold ourselves to a higher threshold to amend the Constitution. Is the proposal essential?  Did the Founders fail to consider the issue that now must be addressed in and only in a constitutional framework? Is there no legislative remedy? What are the negative and foreseeable consequences of such a constitutional mandate? And importantly, we must remember that, but for one, all constitutional amendments are written in indelible ink.