Hampton Roads

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Deeds Doubts Uranium Mining Study

Source: Star City Harbinger

"Senator Deeds doubts science and sense behind uranium study"

Senator Deeds has serious reservations about whether uranium can be mined in Virginia. He looks forward to reviewing the study, but he believes that our top priorities must be to ensure the protection of our water supply and the safety of all workers. He is not convinced that uranium mining can meet either of these requirements.

This Virginia Beach Grassroots Activist Supports Terry McAuliffe

The time was the heat of the 2008 election. Sleep was at a minimum. Rest could come after the most important election in our lifetime was won. Until victory was certain, every moment wasted was one that could never be recovered.

The constitutional republic established by our Founding Fathers was teetering on the edge of a precipice. It was the ordinary man who succeeded in establishing our glorious experiment in government. And it was the duty of we common men and women who followed to repair that same government.

Downsizing Local Government

Today a local city council member pitched some ideas to begin a discussion about sources of potential cost savings. To be fair, it was something of a brainstorming session and not a fully fleshed formal proposal; meant to provide a starting point for a discussion that will inevitably end up in formal council session. The suggestions are informative and this review is presented with no intent to draw fire to the messenger. They help us anticipate the consequences of changes to funding government as we have known it.

Some of the ideas to help make it through the next five years:

  • Freeze salaries for city employees
  • Freeze hiring except for public safety positions
  • Reduce 100 positions per year for the next 5 years through attrition
  • Reduce the undesignated fund balance
  • Reduce the Public Utilities fund balance by assessing a right-of-way use fee
  • Reduce open space expenditures
  • Have Special Service Districts reimburse the police department for overtime
  • Reduce higher tier landscaping expenditures
  • Extend life of vehicles by a year
  • Halt all non-critical capital improvement projects
  • Reduce employee (retiree) health costs

Did Commonwealth's Attorney Arrange Opponent's Firing?

Harvey Bryant, Virginia Beach's Commonwealth's Attorney has a challenger. And this morning that challenger is cleaning out his desk after being released from his position with the Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney's office. Mark Hardman, who announced he will be running for the Virginia Beach position has a lot more time to campaign.

Hardman recently announced that he will be running as an Independent against Harvey Bryant. Employed in the office Harvey Bryant requested to act as special prosecutor in the investigation of the notorious Sessoms/Obama flyers, he was informed by Earle Mobley that this presented a situation that would prohibit Hardman's continued service, or words to this effect. Bryant and Mobley are associated with local Republicans.

Why McAuliffe?

McAuliffe's won me over. I don’t want a job with his campaign or his administration. I have never taken a penny from any candidate I have supported. I want what is best for my family and Virginia. I have concluded that Terry is the man for this time.

Terry McAuliffe moves in different parts of the progressive sphere than I. But ours intersect enough in the survival interest arena, that the areas where we disagree are overshadowed. I looked hard for a deal-breaking position. My first nudge was when I discovered that John Grisham supports Terry. Yes, influenced by a non-politician’s judgment. But meeting Dorothy McAuliffe was so telling by inference about the character of her husband, that apprehensions in that facet of the candidate were immediately wiped clean. And, though to now he has had reason to blow me off, he never has in passing. He’s a big man.

What Happens Now?

Among Larry Wilkerson’s vignettes, he touched on themes both cautionary and uplifting. The balance tipped throughout. Discussing empire, he drew memories of the familiar parallels. But he brought it home to each individual in their own ways. Each will judge if we’re rising or setting; half full or half empty.

On a recent Friday, David Smick was invited to Washington to give a lecture on his new book, the World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. Though not sure he agrees with David, Wilkerson recommends a read, “I gotta remember he is a financial consultant for people like Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore, some of the major hedge funds in the world and so forth.” Smick explains in layman’s terms what has happened to us with regards to those worlds and “…whether he is right in terms of the solution or not, his explanation of the problem is pretty good.” Wilkerson says he has absorbed much of the same aspect from a lot of other people too, including what he calls some of our best minds.

Military-Industrial-Congressional Corruption

Peppered throughout Larry Wilkerson’s wide ranging comments in Williamsburg were references showing his disdain for the diminution of ethics in public service. Wilkerson has extended Eisenhower’s perception of the tentacles of influence to include the Congress. “What we need are more people who can stand against power without being corrupted.”

He told of being at Penn State University a couple of weeks ago. When he finished, a woman in the back stood up and she asked “Well, what can we do? What can we do?” And, because he had just finished talking about the military-industrial complex, and how much money that is bleeding off taxpayers, “I said, well one thing you can do is get rid of John Murtha. I know John Murtha, John Murtha is a good guy. John Murtha is so profane that he used to get out of HUMMVEES when we’d take him on a CODEL and he would curse everything in sight. John Murtha is a former Marine, but John Murtha is corrupt as hell. And you cannot deal with the military-industrial-congressional complex today…which as Eisenhower said in 1961, we should be very aware of, and very vigilant about…you can’t deal with it without recognizing that when you have someone like that, you need to get rid of him.”

What Do You Do About The Terrorists?

"The question is begged immediately, as it was the other day at Brookings," said Wilkerson, “What do you do about the terrorists? What do you do about the people who struck us and killed three thousand Americans? What do you do about al Qaida?”

Well the first thing you have to admit to yourself is that George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of them did it wrong. They brought the war instrument out to deal with a group of terrorists that on any given day amount to no more than about 10 or 20 thousand people. Once that war instrument is taken out of its sheath, you have no choice, you have to use it, but then you do you must understand that you just justified those guys' existence in a way you never have before because in the old way you were treating them as criminals and in the new way you are treating them, no matter what you call them, as warriors; legitimate warriors. No matter how many times you say the opposite; certainly legitimate warriors in the eyes of 1.3 billion Muslims.

The World Gets Its Curve Back

David Smick, Wilkerson tells us, says that Tom Friedman is looking at the world through other than economic and financial eyes. "Tom says, look out there at all the wonderful things." Smick says, "Through financial and economic eyes, the world is curved, I can’t see a thing. There’s no transparency."

Commenting about a recent presentation by Smick, who authored The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy, Wilkerson told the gathering in Williamsburg, this is especially true if you start passing toxic waste, "securitized and wrapped up in things like CEOs and whatever" out to the rest of the world and there’s no visibility until one day you turn over the salad leaf and you say “Wow, look at that worm!" And then all of a sudden that worm panic spreads throughout the global economy and that’s in essence what has happened. And largely the United States passed most of that bad commercial paper out. And this may eventually create as much anger at us out there in the world as our "War on Terror."

"Folks, We're Going To Do This"

Terry McAuliffe emphasizes that Virginia is at a crossroads. We've got to create new jobs in this green economy. 118 billion dollars out of the 780 billion dollar stimulus package, is going toward alternative energy. He warns that is going to bypass us because we are not a mandatory state; we're not doing what we need to do.

He pointed at the professor in whose lab we stood and said "You ought to be funded with these new stimulus dollars, you could be the world leader…we ought to be the world leader. I talk about, and everybody laughs at me; they call me Governor Chicken-something because I love chicken waste. I do, I get excited about chicken waste. I'm sorry, there are 500,000 tons of it. We leech it into our watershed, we've ruined our oyster business in the Chesapeake, we've hurt our environment."

Norfolk Elects First Black Constitutional Officer Since 1993

With some 55% of the vote, Prosecutor Greg Underwood looks to have been elected to fill the vacancy created last year when Jack Doyle was appointed a Norfolk Circuit Judge. Some 7000 voters turned out to decide this special election. He defeated Republican John Coggeshall who announced he was uncertain if he would oppose Underwood in the fall.

Underwood will be sworn in as Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney after the votes have been certified. The soon to be former prosecutor of 16 years will face re-election for a full term in November.

Cross posted at VBDems.org - Blogging our way to Democratic wins in Virginia Beach!

Governor Kaine Signs the Smoking Ban Bill

[Major Milestone for the Old Dominion - promoted to FP by Riley Murray]
Governor Kaine was joined today at Croc's Eco Bistro on 19th Street by health advocates, legislative patrons, and other stake holders as he signed legislation from the 2009 General Assembly session that bans smoking in restaurants throughout the Commonwealth effective 1 December. This was a big day for our entire Commonwealth and a proud moment for supporters including the Virginia Beach Hospitality Industry – the VBRA, VBHMA, VBCVB – and the Virginia Beach Mayor and City Council Members who all whole heartedly supported this initiative.

To celebrate this moment for the industry, attendees were encouraged to wear their favorite restaurant attire, logos, chef coats and hats to show their support. The day marks a milestone for industry workers’ health and CLEAN INDOOR AIR! Governor Kaine made specific mention of Croc’s Laura Wood Habr for her vigorous support of this legislation and of the effort by business owners and civic leaders, particularly in NOVA and Hampton Roads, to bring it to pass.

Cross posted at VBDems.org - Blogging our way to Democratic wins in Virginia Beach!

McAuliffe Office Opening Provides a Window on this Campaign

Dorothy McAuliffe has emerged during this cycle as one intriguing personality. Seen once riding herd on their brood; only one little doggie straying; the youngest on lookout for that carrier. Then she spoke at the Veterans and Military Family Caucus. Last night she appeared at the Virginia Beach office kickoff.

Each time, she endears herself to and impresses those she meets. It is no surprise that she would be something of a character. Look who she married. What is refreshing is that someone who is raising five children under 18 embodies that same kind of enthusiasm and optimism as her candidate husband and has energy to spare. She likes to say that Terry always sees the glass half full. After being around her, you can imagine she helps him top it off. Of course, I’ll want to look in on her once that young one marches off to college, just to see how this marathon winds up.

Dave Foster Stakes Lead in RPV AG Contest

Announcing the outcome of pre-files for the Virginia Republican Convention, a Dave Foster campaign representative told those gathered at the Virginia Beach Republican breakfast this morning that almost three times as many pre-files were submitted in Virginia Beach this year over last. Apparently wanting to clear up claims in correspondence by one or both of the other candidates, Aaron stated that the outcome ended with Dave Foster receiving more pre-file forms than any other Attorney General candidate, followed by John Brownlee, and that Ken Cuccinelli finished last.

This announcement builds upon the earlier success of the Foster campaign in Alexandria, where he filed more committed delegates than his two opponents combined. About a quarter of the City/County filing deadlines have passed. Senator Cuccinelli has made a number of personal appearances at local events and seemed to be the preference of the local party leadership. However, Foster has demonstrated strong organization and ties to and support from state and national Republican groups.

Foster was a member of former Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s Internet Safety Task Force.

Chris Rey No Longer Running for Delegate

Due to family issues, Chris V. Rey of Williamsburg will no longer be running for House of Delegates in the 93rd District - the seat currently held by Republican Phil Hamilton. He was an excellent candidate, we were blessed to have him, but we must move on and immediately work on finding another qualified Democrat.

Mr. Rey issued the following press release:

Brian Moran Airs First Radio Ad

(This is currently playing in the Hampton area. Promoted by FXBAmy)
Brian Moran for GovernorBrian Moran’s campaign for Governor will start airing its first radio today (Wednesday) in Hampton Roads. And, damn, it's a good one! It really hits home the long and exemplary record Brian Moran has serving the Commonwealth.

From the release:

The one-minute ad, titled “Standing Up,” features a testimonial from former Delegate Mary Christian of Hampton, a pioneer and leader in the African American community, about Moran’s strong record of fighting for the people of Hampton Roads and all of Virginia. Christian served with Moran in the House of Delegates until her retirement.

Our Kenyan Born, Muslim, Marxist President

Or so the huckster dull normals of talk radio pound out a message of innuendo designed to drive ratings and secure and build audience passion. But the evocative nature of these diatribes are less eloquent than provocative. They are not an appeal to the better character of our nation’s soul.

“How stands the Union?” allegedly the devil asked Daniel Webster. And the judge responded, “Rock bottomed and copper riveted.”…It ain’t no more. It is anything but. And there is a new captain at the helm.

So began retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Monday evening, addressing a filled Williamsburg library theater. Some 300 James City County and Williamsburg residents came to hear the William and Mary visiting professor and former Chief of Staff to Collin Powell. In an extemporaneous ninety minute dialogue, he set a tone that was at once alarming and reassuring; if that can be done. More will follow over the next few days, but a haunting sense will begin the synopsis. Wilkerson did not specifically express the sentiments standing at the beginning or the end of this post. He elicited them.

Democratic Delegate Ken Melvin to Retire

Portsmouth Delegate Ken Melvin (D-80) will not run for re-election in 2009, leaving an open Democratic seat.

A little bit of research leads me to believe that there is currently no Democrat who has declared to run there, but the district went 76% for Obama, it is no doubt a perfect opportunity to pick a fresh, progressive Democrat.

Delegate Purkey’s Crusade

Once in a great while, Delegate Bob Purkey (R-Virginia Beach) allows the public a bit more familiarity with his idiosyncrasies. Yesterday, apparently angry over an article in the local newspaper, he was inspired to make a rare appearance and lash out. In an often incoherent broadside, he revealed much.

The article in the morning’s Virginian-Pilot reported that legislation brought by Purkey “would have extended the waiting period before former government officials and employees could lobby their old colleagues…would have added state executive agencies and local governments to those bodies deemed off-limits.” Purkey objected that the purpose wasn’t reported as “to make sure that cabinet level secretaries can not come back and lobby the next day as they still can by law.” Maybe he’ll be happier with this report.

Purkey described meeting with the reporter who said he had heard scuttlebutt about the reason the bill was put in. “I said the reason you prostitutes…pardon my grammar, I try to avoid the press every time I can. I think they are the worst…now there are a few decent reporters…a few you can trust, but most of them you can’t trust because they have changed their role. They used to report the news, now they interpret the news. They think that you all are pretty dumb, that we can’t give you the facts; they have to pre-chew your food, then digest it, and regurgitate it for you.” Purkey said, never getting to his point for the reporter.

Embarrassment for the Virginia AG's Office

Steven Lederman, a Virginia assistant attorney general with indirect ties to former Norfolk Senator Nick Rerras (R) has been charged with felony possession with intent to distribute marijuana and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon after a drug sniffing dog alerted on a bag in Lederman's van. Inside that bag was marijuana wrapped like a Christmas present.

Lederman's father, Ira, made contributions of $5,500 to Senator Rerras and other Republicans leading up to the time when Steven was a candidate for Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In 2007, this drew attention to the fact that members of the legislature have an opportunity for patronage from their influence in appointing judges in Virginia. Reeves Mahoney, the husband of circuit judge candidate Joan E. Mahoney, had given $500 to Rerras and a total of $10,800 to Republicans in the same time period.