Voting in Virginia begins in less than two weeks, and abortion law is taking center stage in Virginia’s statewide races. Democratic candidates are highlighting a controversial Texas law as an example of what Republicans would push for, while Republicans point to a late-term abortion bill that Virginia Democrats pushed for in 2019. On Friday, GOP lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears said on Newsmax that she would support a heartbeat bill in Virginia.
Sears said, “Here’s the thing: when did it become the wrong thing for us to support the babies in the womb?” Read More
A criminal justice reform advocacy group is urging Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to use his pardon power generously before leaving office at the end of his term in January.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums, which works to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing laws nationally, wrote a letter to Northam and asked him to grant full or partial clemency to deserving inmates who have reformed while in prison and for those who were given excessive sentences for their crimes.
A Virginia law from the 1990s prohibiting discretionary parole limits options for felons who received harsh penalties, leaving a pardon as one of the only options remaining. The state also has various mandatory minimum sentences on the books, which require a certain length of incarcerated time for specific crimes. Read More
The Virginia State Republican Senate delegation released a statement on Monday telling Governor Ralph Northam to lift the remaining COVID-19 regulations throughout the state.
The statement from the Virginia Republicans follow their calls issued on Friday for Northam to remove the state-wide mask mandate. Northam lifted the mask mandate shortly after the statement on Friday to fall in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Read More
A major pipeline used to deliver gasoline to the eastern U.S. has been shutdown by hackers, leading to higher gas prices and decreased availability in some areas of Virginia. The Colonial Pipeline was targeted by a ransomware cyber attack on Friday, and the company took some systems offline in response, leading to the pipeline shutdown. Read More
Virginians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear masks in small gatherings or when outdoors alone, according to a Thursday announcement from Governor Ralph Northam. Effective immediately, he also amended Executive Order 72 to allow the lesser of 1,000 spectators or 30 percent capacity at recreational sports, two weeks earlier than originally planned. Read More
The investigation into the Virginia Parole Board will be investigated, if legislators approve a proposal from Governor Ralph Northam. On Wednesday, Northam finalized his amendments to a budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly, including money for an investigation. Read More
The Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) fired senior investigator Jennifer Moschetti on Monday. Moschetti had investigated and helped write a report detailing violations committed by the Virginia Parole Board. Moschetti had sought formal recognition as a whistleblower from the General Assembly, but when she was placed on leave from her OSIG job, she sued to keep herself from being fired. Read More
A bill that would ban guns within 40 feet of any polling place in Virginia passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday.
“My Safe Elections Bill (HB2081), banning guns at polling places and vote counting centers, just passed the Senate Judiciary Committee! This bill protects both voters and election workers from intimidation. Those with guns don’t make the rules. Voters do,” Delegate Mark Levine (D-VA-45) said on Twitter. Read More
Based on the past actions and statements from Virginia’s Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, President Joe Biden’s controversial executive order increasing refugee resettlements is likely to find support in Virginia.
After a 2019 executive order by former president Donald J. Trump giving localities autonomy over refugee resettlement, Northam wrote a letter to then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying the state would happily continue accepting refugees. Read More
Buses, a decommissioned ambulance, and lots of cars and trucks traveled through Richmond for hours on Monday afternoon as part of the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s (VCDL) Lobby Day 2021 demonstration. Most vehicles sported VCDL flags and decals; a few also waved Trump flags and other paraphernalia.
“When the first bus came, it just seemed like car after car after car, decked out, horns honking, people waving,” VCDL President Phil Van Cleave said. Car caravans came from all corners of the Commonwealth. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam has moved Virginia legislators into vaccination Phase 1b, meaning they will be among the first eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. That includes members of the House of Delegates, who are holding meetings virtually. Read More
On New Years Eve, Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) struck a deal with leaders of the Virginia General Assembly that will provide space for constituents to meet with legislators near the Capitol grounds even though the Pocahontas Building and Capitol Building remain closed to outsiders due to COVID-19.
DeSteph said the out-of-court settlement was a win. “This will allow citizens, subject matter experts, and other professional staff to meet face-to-face with legislators during the upcoming regular session. This is a huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians,” the press release states. Read More
The Appomattox County Board of Supervisors declined to vote on a First Amendment Sanctuary resolution at a Monday night meeting. Multiple members of the board said that they share concerns over Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but they said the board does not have the authority to enforce the resolution or to protect Appomattox County citizens from state-level enforcement of the executive orders. With no one willing to second Supervisor John Hinkle’s motion to vote on the resolution, the motion died. Read More
Forty churches, schools, and businesses have signed a letter to Governor Ralph Northam, asking him not to enforce the Virginia Values Act (VVA), which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Northam last April. In Northam’s press release, proponents of the bill said it would protect LGBTQ Virginians from workplace discrimination, but religious leaders warn that the bill threatens a $100,000 fine if religious organizations refuse to hire someone who doesn’t agree with their beliefs on marriage or sexuality. Read More
When Governor Ralph Northam outlined his latest COVID-19 restrictions and a curfew last week, he had a message specifically for religious leaders.
“This year we need to think about what is truly the most important thing. Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers,” the governor said. “Worship with a mask on is still worship.” Read More
Three churches from Culpeper County and Madison County are suing Governor Ralph Northam, because although his latest capacity limits do not include churches, the other restrictions of Northam’s recent orders do. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam ceremonially signed “Breonna’s Law” on Monday. The law bans no-knock warrants and is named after Breonna Taylor, a Kentucky resident who was killed in her home in March by police. It also bans night-time search warrants without authorization by a judge or magistrate. But Virginia police advocates say the law is too broad — a wholesale ban on a law enforcement tool that they say is already rarely used. Read More
Paul Goldman, candidate in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, slammed likely gubernatorial candidate former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a Monday press release. Goldman censured McAuliffe and establishment Democrats for calling for Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) to resign in 2019 without due process after allegations of sexual abuse involving Fairfax, who is running for governor in 2021. Read More
As the 2020 elections fade into the background, Governor Ralph Northam has re-instituted capacity limits and restaurant curfews, but unlike in spring 2020, the governor has not closed schools back down. He has also not called for schools to open back up, leaving local districts to make their own decisions. Read More
The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Trump’s appointment of Mark Christie to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. That leaves a vacancy on the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), where Christie was the chair of the three-person panel. Governor Ralph Northam said at a Wednesday press conference that he will temporarily fill the vacancy with Angela Navarro, former deputy secretary of Natural Resources under Northam and his predecessor Terry McAuliffe. Read More
The annual pro-gun Lobby Day in Richmond will feature a Trump-Train style rally in January 2021. The anti-gun group Virginia Center for Public Safety (VCPS) and three other anti-gun groups obtained permits for the Bell Tower in the Capitol Square early in 2020, leaving only a 6 a.m. and a 6 p.m. slot for the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) to hold its traditional rally. As a result, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave said that cars from across the state will drive through the Capitol on January 18. Read More
Their presence alone was a protest — Bedford County residents turned out to support a No Shutdown resolution at the Monday Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. The amount of people present exceeded the 25 person capacity from Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders. However, BOS Chairman John Sharp told supporters that the resolution had never been on the agenda, and the BOS decided to not make a last minute change to that agenda. Nevertheless, Sharp expressed support for the ideas behind the resolution. Read More
Congress passed the CARES Act last March, sending many taxpayers $1,200, giving $100 billion to health providers, and boosting unemployment benefits by $600 a week, according to Govtrack. The $2 trillion stimulus bill also sent $150 billion to states and localities across the country. Virginia received about $3.1 billion dollars, with a separate $200 million sent directly to Fairfax County. Read More
Organizers have canceled The Nation’s Gun Show scheduled to be held at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend after Governor Ralph Northam announced new group size restrictions at the end of last week. The organizers sued Northam and asked for an injunction that would allow them to hold the event, arguing that Northam’s emergency powers do not include the power to infringe the Second Amendment. However, the court denied the request for an injunction. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s new biennial budget, according to a Wednesday press release. The budget is the product of a recent months-long Special Session held by the General Assembly and features key provisions for homeowners, children, and businesses.
“This budget gives us the tools we need to contend with the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic,” Northam said in a press release. Read More
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced new coronavirus restrictions Friday, only a few weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” the governor said in a statement. Read More
Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette W. McEachin determined that the officer shooting of Marcus-David Peters was justified, according to a report of her investigation into the May 2018 incident. McEachin’s report, released last week, describes Peters, a Black man, having a likely mental crisis that resulted in him running nude on I-95. Peters then approached a responding officer who fired first a Taser and then a gun at Peters. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill on Wednesday requiring judges to dismiss cases when both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. The bill was born after Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood (D) announced that he would not be prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The bill is an example of a national push to allow prosecutors discretion to ignore whole sections of law, according to Heritage Foundation Legal Fellow and former prosecutor Zack Smith. Read More
Only 22 percent of ventilators in Virginia hospitals were in use as of Wednesday. Fifty-two percent of ICU beds were available, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Only 1,003 potential COVID-19 patients were currently hospitalized. However, Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders surrounding social distancing and mask wearing remain in effect. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam criticized President Donald Trump’s statement preceding his release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Read More
“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
The Charlottesville City Council convened on Wednesday to continue discussing plans for relocating the Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea statue. Read More
Activists take issue with Sacagawea’s posture: she crouches behind Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, a positioning some say is demeaning for depicting the appearance of subservience.
Governor Ralph Northam joined 10 other Democratic governors issuing a joint statement on Wednesday defending American democracy, vowing that every valid ballot will be counted in the election.
The statement comes after a contentious debate where President Trump expressed skepticism of mail voting. Trump also called on his backers to scrutinize voting procedures at the polls, which critics said could cross into voter intimidation. Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors noted his refusal last week to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife, First Lady Pamela Northam, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Northams received testing after learning that one of the governor’s staff members tested positive. Read More
Northam reports that he is asymptomatic; his wife is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The pair plan to isolate for ten days and then undergo another examination, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines.
President Donald Trump announced his intentions to visit Virginia after denouncing Governor Ralph Northam and endorsing congressional candidate Bob Good.
Trump tweeted his remarks on the first day of Virginia’s early voting and submission of absentee ballots, September 18. Read More
Republican legislators in Virginia are sounding the alarm about risks with new provisions providing prepaid postage and drop boxes for absentee ballots. The provisions come as part of a budget amendment proposed by Governor Ralph Northam.
The amendment provides $2 million to create the ballot drop boxes and to pay postage so that voters do not have to pay to return their ballots. The General Assembly will consider the amendments sometime near the beginning of next week. Read More
With a $2.7 billion budget shortfall and continued economic uncertainty, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants the General Assembly to postpone considerations of higher education spending, teacher pay raises and other spending initiatives he had hoped to include in the budget before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The General Assembly passed a biennial budget in April that gutted about $2.3 billion from the governor’s pre-pandemic budget proposal. The General Assembly was expected to reconsider some of these proposals based on new revenue projections in a special session that convened Tuesday, but Northam proposed a budget that maintained all of the cuts and urged the General Assembly to reconsider the spending initiatives when they reconvene in January. Read More
Gun-rights activist group the Virginia Citizens Defense League is lobbying 193 local jurisdictions to declare they will not ban guns. The proposed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions vary, but contain language stating that a jurisdiction “shall not exercise any authority granted to it … to regulate or prohibit the otherwise legal purchase, possession, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.” Read More
If Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam opts to expand unemployment benefits by $100 a week per person, it would cost the state an additional $45 million a week, but the unemployment insurance fund already is set to run out of money in September, state officials said.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to extend federal unemployment benefits by $300 a week, but states would have to supply an additional $100 a week, increasing the benefit to $400 a week. Read More
Police officers and criminal justice reform advocates share some common ground going into Virginia’s special session to address policing reform, but the two groups break apart on some of the more controversial reforms.
“We are as repulsed by bad police officers … as anyone [else],” Wayne Huggins, executive director of the Virginia State Police Association, told Virginia House members Thursday during the last criminal justice reform hearing ahead of the special session, which convenes Aug. 18. Read More
Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google.
But hopes for a nationwide app that can work seamlessly across state borders remain unrealized, and there are no known federal plans to create one. State officials say their new app won’t work as well outside Virginia, at least until a group of coordinating public health agencies gets a national server up and running and other states join in. Read More
State Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Cave Spring) introduced a bill last week to check the Virginia governor’s executive order powers under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law (ESDL).
The ESDL allows the Virginia governor “to direct and compel evacuation of all or part of the populace from any stricken or threatened area if this action is deemed necessary for the preservation of life, implement emergency mitigation, preparedness, response or recovery actions; prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with evacuation.” Read More
A judge on Thursday indefinitely extended an injunction preventing the Virginia governor from removing a historic statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a famed avenue in the former capital of the Confederacy.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo made the decision after hearing from attorneys for the state and for the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam. Earlier this month, Cavedo had issued a 10-day injunction barring Northam from removing the bronze equestrian statue of the Confederate hero from Monument Avenue. Read More
A judge in Richmond has issued an injunction preventing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration from removing an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for 10 days.
The temporary injunction order issued Monday says the state is a party to a deed recorded in March 1890 in which it accepted the statue, pedestal and ground they sit on and agreed to “faithfully guard” and “affectionately protect” them. Read More
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized for his medical school blackface stunt, but he will have much more to apologize for if he signs into law a bill that attacks Virginia residents’ Second Amendment rights. Read More
by Evie Fordham At least 13 people are dead after a Virginia Beach city employee opened fire on coworkers in a municipal building Friday around 4 p.m., authorities said. Four others were injured and taken to the hospital, reported The Virginian-Pilot. The suspected gunman, a longtime city worker identified… Read More
by Fred Lucas Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate who lost the 2017 Virginia governor’s race to Ralph Northam, said Virginia has much healing to do. “For Virginians, this is a very painful time to see these images splashed up on television screens and newspapers, and it doesn’t reflect the… Read More
by Michael Bastasch Former Vice President Al Gore said Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam can fulfill his “racial reconciliation” pledge by opposing the Atlantic Coast pipeline, which he called a “racist rip-off.” “This is an ideal opportunity for him to say, ‘I’ve seen the light,’” Gore said at an… Read More
by Jeffrey A. Rendall It could easily be argued the greatest threat to President Donald Trump’s reelection chances next year is a sane, middle-of-the-road and likable Democrat opponent. Good luck finding one. As the party hubbub over Virginia’s trio of politically correct absconders (Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin… Read More
by Dr. Carol M. Swain Many U.S. Democratic politicians present themselves to the world as Christians. But their Christianity is completely devoid of a biblical worldview. The most shocking statements come out of their mouths disguised as genuine concern for the suffering of the less fortunate. Consider the “gospel”… Read More
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison recently stated that he believes it would be best for Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) to stay in office. “If Virginia Governor Northam keeps his pledge to fight for racial reconciliation, I believe VA (and US) will be better served than if he just resigned. But… Read More