Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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Fundraiser for Donald McEachin

On October 14 in Richmond, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, there will be a reception honoring State Senator Donald McEachin.  For all the details, click here. Donald's been there for us, fighting for progressive values and against radical right wingers like Ken Cuccinelli.  Now we need to be there for him. Thanks.

Sen. McEachin Statement on McDonnell ABC Privatization Plan

Here's Senator Donald McEachin's statement on the ABC privatization plan released today by Bob McDonnell. Enjoy - or more likely, not!
I appreciate the governor releasing his plan so that we will have the time and opportunity to study it. I have, however, some questions that I very much believe need to be addressed. The governor has said repeatedly that we cannot raise taxes, that tax increases are a job and economy killer. So, I would ask him, how and why, in these extremely perilous economic times, he would consider raising taxes on small business, the engine of job creation here in the Commonwealth and in the country. I would ask him to address how and why he would consider raising taxes on the backs of those mom and pop businesses that create 80% of the jobs which are so desperately needed in this economy.

Moreover, I am troubled by the idea of issuing 1,000 licenses. As we can well surmise, this number of licenses means there will be an inordinate number of stores selling hard liquor. These stores could end up across the street from a local high school, or next door to the ball fields or in other places where our underage youth will find uncommon temptation. I also fear that too many of these new stores will end up in low income neighborhoods, taking advantage of those who already struggle, those who are most vulnerable and those who can't make ends meet. Those are the very individuals, suffering without jobs and without a secure future, who will find themselves turning to alcohol which could now be all too available on every block in their community.

I would hope these questions can be addressed as we move forward and as we all continue to study the governor's proposal.

Donald McEachin: “Anita, I am not running for Governor.”

So much for this story, by the Washington Post's Anita Kumar, claiming that State Senator Donald McEachin "is considering running for statewide office in 2013." Here's McEachin's response:
Anita, I am not running for Governor. As Vice Chair for Outreach for the Democratic Party, I AM campaigning for and energizing Virginans about our Congressional candidates. As a member of State Senate I AM preparing for the upcoming session and next year's elections by trying to be the best State Senator I can be. There are a myriad of issues to think about and discuss with the people of Virginia. When you see me do these things, please know that I do them with a deep and abiding love for Virginia and her people. Please know that I do these things because the "fierce urgency of now" demands action. Tomorrow, including 2013, will take care of itself.


Anyways...other names mentioned in Kumar's article include Terry McAuliffe, who's widely assumed to be running for governor; Chap Petersen, also a possibility for governor, LG or AG; Del. Shannon Valentine, ditto (?); Sen. Mark Herring, for some statewide office (AG?); Del. Steve Shannon, maybe for AG again?; and Brian "For Profit" Moran. I'd also throw Jennifer McClellan in the mix, maybe Mike Signer, Jon Bowerbank, and probably a bunch more.

P.S. Also, on a somewhat related note, check this out - Alabama Democratic gubernatorial candidate (and U.S. Representative) Artur Davis is moving to Virginia...very interesting.

P.P.S. Of course, Donald would make a superb, progressive candidate for statewide office in 2013 or whenever. As he says, that will "take care of itself." In the meantime, no matter what he decides to do with his career, we all owe Donald a debt of gratitude for the tremendous work he's done since January 2010, standing up to the Cucc-insanity, as well as to Bob McDonnell's phony "moderate" version of Cucc-insanity. Thank you Donald, keep up the great work, and best of luck whatever your future holds!

McEachin Not Impressed With McDonnell’s “Surplus”

State Senator Donald McEachin isn't particularly impressed with Bob McDonnell's "surplus."
"When I hear the word surplus, I assume that we've met all of our unmet needs, and clearly we haven't done that in Virginia," said Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico)...."I think the overarching problem is we do not have the political will to raise revenue," McEachin said, referencing the idea of raising the gasoline tax, or freezing car tax relief.
Another "overarching problem" is what Doug Mataconis calls "creative accounting... used to make people think that the financial picture of the state is better than it actually is."  "Creative," as in "skipping payments to the Virginia Retirement System to the tune of $620 million."  Nice.

Senator McEachin Reminds the Governor that Nullification Has Been Deemed Unconstitutional

The DPVA remains asleep at the switch, but fortunately, Sen. McEachin is willing and able to speak out against the latest lunacy from Pat Robertson's Manchurian candidate/governor.
Richmond - Today, Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) responded to Governor McDonnell's comments in Roanoke yesterday (as quoted by the Roanoke Times) that he "declined" to express an opinion on the legitimacy of nullification. Senator McEachin said, "I am extremely dismayed and concerned that our governor has apparently neglected to review recent American history or leading Supreme Court cases. Not even sixty years ago, in a response to attempts to ignore Brown v. Board of Education in which African-American children were first given the opportunity for an equal integrated education with white children, the Supreme Court ruled on Cooper v. Aaron. In this extremely significant case, the Court ruled that because the Supremacy Clause of Article VI made the United States Constitution the Supreme law of the land and Marbury v. Madison gave the Supreme Court the final power of judicial review, then all states are bound by federal law and bound by Supreme Court decisions.

"But even if the Governor has forgotten these Constitutional law principles, he should surely recall the amount of blood spilled, families and homes decimated and young men killed the last time states made foolish decisions based on nullification. Surely, as governor of Virginia which is criss-crossed with battlefields and graveyards of those who died fighting in that war and those who died trying to protect their homes and families and the numbers of slaves and free blacks who died trying to protect their loved ones and their few and meager possessions, he should know that no good can come of this kind of foolish and dangerous talk.

"We are Americans, proud to be part of the greatest democracy on earth, and if we disagree we have legal, political and legislative means to resolve those disagreements.  Living in a democracy means that if we don't like what is happening we will have an election and we can peaceably, within our Constitutional procedures and rights, address those grievances.

"Finally, like every other elected official, Governor McDonnell took an oath to uphold the US Constitution and all the Articles and clauses within that document.  Nullification is not legal and declining to respond is not acceptable. I expect our governor to uphold the law and the Constitution and to refute unconstitutional and illegal drivel when he hears it."

Sen. McEachin: Del. Gilbert’s Chesapeake Bay Conspiracy Comments “Utter Nonsense”

Great stuff as always from Sen. Donald McEachin, this time blasting back at an anti-environment Republican delegate's "utter nonsense" - this time, a supposed "conspiracy" with regard to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. Uh, yeah, right.
Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) today released this statement countering Delegate
Todd's remarks about the Chesapeake Bay over the past weekend. Senator McEachin said, "I was dismayed to hear that yet another Republican has joined the Republican efforts to turn back the clock and not do what is critically necessary to protect the Chesapeake Bay. This time it's Delegate Todd Gilbert who is doing his best to create misplaced fear with false accusations. Just this past weekend he told a group of young farmers that attempts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay are really a conspiracy of "urban" legislators to take farms away and destroy farmers' "heritage."

"This is, of course, utter nonsense. Cleaning up the Bay will protect farmers by ensuring they have a clean water source for their crops. Moreover, a clean Chesapeake Bay will protect other critical jobs here in the Commonwealth. Watermen need a clean Bay for their fishing businesses to prosper. Tourism depends on access to clean unpolluted waters."

Congratulations Sen. McEachin. The Rest of This List? Not So Much.

Congratulations to Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond), one of the best public servants in Virginia, for being named to Style Weekly's Power List 2010. McEachin clocks in at #37, with Style Weekly writing:
A liberal Democrat is a strange candidate to ride the coattails of conservative activist Ken Cuccinelli (No. 43), but lawyer and state Sen. Don McEachin has parlayed himself into the Republican establishment's critic-in-chief and expanded his profile over the national airwaves. He's pushed back on the opposition party's handling of issues including health care and climate change. He's already run for statewide office and lost, but he'll be back.
That's great news and I'm really glad to see it. As for the rest of the list? The CEO of Dominion Power, Thomas Farrell, #1? Rep. Eric Cantor #4? Gov. Bob McDonnell #6? Del. Kirkland Cox #25? Attorney General Ken Kook-inelli # 39?  McDonnell Senior Economic Advisor Robert Sledd #50?  Not so much.

Donald McEachin Forms “Believe in Virginia PAC”

Late last week, the Washington Post reported that "State Sen. Don McEachin has launched a new political action committee, Believe in Virginia PAC, as he aims to help Democratic candidates running in legislative races next year."  I contacted Sen. McEachin's office for more details, and received the following statement:
The Believe in Virginia PAC is a PAC formed by Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico)  to support candidates and activities. Senator McEachin believes that Virginians are fair and open-minded and want a Virginia that reflects those values. This PAC will contribute to candidates, organizations and activities who want to improve the environment, support and improve public education, devise and implement a real transportation plan, create jobs and provide ALL Virginians equal opportunity, justice and fairness.

Senator McEachin said, "It's about time that folks put their actions and resources where their mouths are. Since I have been strongly speaking about the administration and its actions and for progressive values, it's time to support those values with my efforts and my resources. I intend to work to recruit and assist candidates, support activities and activists, and promote legislation that reflects a Virginia of which we can be proud."

I'm very happy to see this from Sen. McEachin. The fact is, since November 2009 -- when Virginia Democrats suffered through one of their worst elections in many years -- Sen. McEachin has stepped up and been one of the most vocal leaders of what Howard Dean used to call "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."  As such, Sen. McEachin has been a forceful, articulate critic of Bob McDonnell's "Confederate History Month," of Ken Cuccinelli's "ludicrous" lawsuit against clean cars, and of course against Cooch's "ludicrous and frivolous" assault against climate scientist Michael Mann. In addition, Sen. McEachin has pressed Ken Cuccinelli to return $50,000 in tainted contributions from the shady U.S. Navy Veterans Association. And McEachin has called out Fred Malek for his "recent illegal behavior."

In addition to (justifiably and necessarily) criticizing McDonnell and Cooch, Sen. McEachin also has been an active, articulate advocate for progressive values. For instance, see here for McEachin's opposition to Del. Bob Marshall's assault against the new health care law.  Also, see here for Sen. McEachin's passionate defense of "the poor...those how are vulnerable...those who live in the margins." That's exactly why many of us are Democrats, not Republicans, as Sen. McEachin clearly understands.  We'll see where this new PAC leads, whether to effective assistance for progressive candidates, to Sen. McEachin's own run for statewide office, or to a Virginia we can all believe in.  Perhaps it will lead to all of the above?  We can only hope. Stay tuned...

Cranwell, McEachin, Armstrong Call On Cooch To Return Tainted $50,000

I just got off a conference call with Virginia Democratic leaders regarding Ken Cuccinelli's refusal to donate tainted contributions from the "questionable and potentially corrupt" U.S. Navy Veterans Association. To date, Governor McDonnell and Senator Ticer have returned donations from this "organization," while the Veterans Administration - at the request of Senator Webb - has pulled the group's page from its website.  The VA also says it "will conduct a review of the group as well as a review of procedures used to screen organizations before they are listed on the VA website."  Last but not least, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association is already being investigated in New Mexico, Missouri and Florida, "following an investigation by the St. Petersburg Times revealing that 84 of 85 national and state directors listed in the charity's tax filings and other records appear not to exist."

Apparently, none of that is sufficient evidence for Ken Cuccinelli - who launches investigations at the drop of a hat about climate change scientists and other things he doesn't like - to return a huge, $50,000 contribution he received from the U.S. Navy Veterans Association.  On the conference call a few minutes ago, DPVA Executive Director Dickie Cranwell said it is "difficult to understand" why Cuccinelli won't do the same thing as McDonnell and Ticer and donate the money to a reputable veterans organization. According to Cranwell, "it's time, period."

Sen. Donald McEachin added that there are "incredibly serious allegations" against this group, and that the AG should have a higher standard than waiting until a group has been committed of a crime. That may or may not happen, but in the meantime, this group is being investigated by three other states. At the minimum, McEachin believes, the AG should return the $50,000 and encourage the Office of Consumer Affairs to investigate.

House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong noted that Cuccinelli is "not constrained by petty consistency," being quite willing to launch an investigation of a former UVA climate scientist with whom he "disagrees" on the science.  Meanwhile, this supposed veterans organization is being investigated for fraud!  Where is Cuccinelli on that?!? Apparently, according to Ward Armstrong, Cuccinelli can spend money going after professors, but can't go after this group. Perhaps, Armstrong mused, there's a connection between the $50,000 contribution and the fact that Cuccinelli isn't investigatin?  There's certainly not the same "haste and zeal" in this case as in the climate scientist situation, that's for sure, even though there's - at the minimum - an "appearance of impropriety" here.

Finally, former Hampton Roads Veterans & Military Families for Obama leader Stephanie Marushia pointed out that the longer this goes on, the more it could hurt fundraising at legitimate veterans' organizations.  That's why Cuccinelli needs to "donate that money now" to a legitimate veterans' organization, and also have the AG's office investigate.  Right now, this is setting a bad example and demonstrating bad judgment.  

McEachin: Cooch’s Assault on Prof. Mann “ludicrous and frivolous”

Great statement by Sen. Donald McEachin. I agree 100%, and look forward to the General Assembly passing legislation to rein in our out-of-control Attorney General.
Senator McEachin Says the Attorney General Should Allow Virginians Their Constitutional Rights and Liberties

Richmond- Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) today issued a statement condemning Attorney General Cuccinelli's harassment of the University of Virginia scientist, Professor Mann. Senator McEachin said, "This is not only ludicrous and frivolous, wasting more taxpayer dollars and trampling on academic freedom, but the Attorney General has deprived Mr. Mann of his constitutional rights. In this country, based on our Constitution, we have an adversarial system of justice that gives defendants certain rights. Those rights include the ability to ask the plaintiff for information, to file motions and, most importantly, to have a frivolous lawsuit quashed. However, because the Attorney General, who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and the Virginia Constitution, as he has frequently reminded us, has chosen to ignore and circumvent that system, Mr. Mann has lost those rights. If Attorney General Cuccinelli had filed this as a lawsuit and then issued subpoenas based on that lawsuit, Mr. Mann would be able to ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit and, in the small likelihood it was not dismissed as ludicrous, Professor Mann could then file his own motions and request certain information from the Attorney General. If he can go after Professor Mann, then no Virginian is safe from the oppressive reach of the Attorney General's strong arm and the invasive powers of his office."