Virginia Task Force Hears from Angered Military Families on Education Program Changes

Veteran Cemetery

The first meeting of the task force Preserving Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program was held Monday, with many of its members and those in attendance raising their voices or holding back tears as they spoke. 

“I thought VMSDEP was a formal thank you to the families of veterans, the Gold Star families,” said one attendee, the wife of a retired marine. “I am so sorry that we cost you too much,” she said, choking back tears.

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Teachers Union Worked with Feds to Neutralize Parents with Concerns About CRT

American Federation of Teachers

Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory in Virginia in November 2021, widely credited to his promise to restore parental rights in public schools in the Democratic-leaning state, set off panic in the national education establishment.

Newly disclosed records reveal the American Federation of Teachers hired a prominent Democratic pollster the following month to survey parents and devise messaging to shore up AFT’s weaknesses – particularly by tarring dissenting parents as racists – and shared it with a senior Department of Education official.

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Virginia Lawmakers Urge Department of Defense to Send ‘American-Made’ Drones to Ukraine

Reps. Rob Wittman and Jen Kiggans (composite image)

A group of lawmakers, including two Virginia congressmen, are calling on the U.S. Department of Defense to send more “American-made” drones to be deployed on the Ukrainian battlefield.

In a letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Virginia Republican Reps. Rob Wittman and Jen Kiggans along with nine other lawmakers say “most drones being used in Ukraine’s fight” against Russia are being made by a “single Chinese company.”

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Virginia Board of Education Progressing with ‘Accreditation and Accountability Redesign’

Virginia Board of Education

The Virginia Board of Education recently reviewed takeaways from 15 listening sessions it hosted as part of its “Accreditation and Accountability Redesign.”

“Virginia is one of the few states that continues to combine an accreditation and accountability system,” said Todd Reid, assistant superintendent of strategic communications for the state’s Department of Education. “Combining these systems into one measurement makes it virtually impossible to really determine how the students are academically performing at that school and how the school is shaping educational outcomes.”

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Parents Question Why Virginia High School Staging Drag Musical, Brunch

West Potomac High School Principle Jessica Statz

A high school theater troupe is staging the risque musical “Kinky Boots” just outside the nation’s capital “in collaboration” with a leading Virginia school syste’’s “Pride” programs, prompting concern and questions from some parents.

The Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia, will perform “Kinky Boots” eight times between Thursday and May 4, according to emails obtained by The Daily Signal.

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Conservative Groups Sue to Stop Virginia Offshore Wind Project, Says Threatens Whales

Wind Farm

Wildlife conservationists say that a recent uptick in deaths of these endangered whales corresponds with the development of offshore wind projects that are part of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda.

A coalition of conservative groups has filed a lawsuit against federal agencies and their top officials and the company planning to build what is expected to be the world’s largest offshore wind project.

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Politicians of All Stripes Focus on Post-Election Audits Before 2024 General Election Even Happens

Poll workers counting ballots

Various state legislators are focusing on post-election audits ahead of the November 2024 general election, with Republicans looking to implement or improve audits in some states, while Democrats in one state are trying to prevent an audit of the presidential election.

Post-election audits have been on the books of some states for years, most famously, the “hanging chad recount” fought over in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore, which was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. The issue of post-election audits and the ensuing litigation has received renewed attention since the 2020 presidential election, after numerous irregularities were discovered. The Arizona Senate post-election audit was one of the more famous following the 2020 race. Dispositive evidence that irregularities “moved the needle” one way or another is still a point of contention.

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YoungkinWatch: Governor Says 2023 Revenues Met Expectations After Forecasting Recession in New Budget

Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a Monday statement that Virginia revenues met his office’s expectation during the first half of the 2023 fiscal year. The governor’s confirmation comes as he seeks to pass his new budget, which forecasts a “mild recession” in the next two years.

Youngkin’s office confirmed in its press release that “general fund revenues for December 2023 remain in line with updated revisions to the official revenue forecast,” and state revenues grew by 0.2 percent and 7.1 percent over the course of the year.

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National Democrats Raise $200K for Final Weeks of Battle for Virginia’s General Assembly

The Washington-based Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), the Democratic Party’s political operation focused on state legislative races, announced Monday a new six-figure investment in Virginia’s off-cycle state house contests—part of the DLCC’s attempt to nationalize the Old Dominion hustings.

“Republican dysfunction has become a hallmark of national politics,” said DLCC Campaign Communications Director Abhi Rahman. “Their refusal to do the basic requirements of government, including choosing a speaker, shows us that this is all a game to them and they don’t care about the people they were elected to represent.

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Shock Poll Shows Virginia in Play: Trump, Biden Tied at 37 Percent

Nearly a year before the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald J. Trump is running neck-and-neck with the man who replaced him in the White House, Joseph R. Biden Jr., with each with the support of 37 percent of Virginians, according to a poll by the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies of 1,000 of the commonwealth’s adults conducted September 5 through September 11.

“Virginia looks a lot like America as a whole in this survey,” said Professor Stephen J. Farnsworth, the center’s director.

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Virginia Rep. Bob Good Tells ‘Meet the Press’ Why He’ll Back One-Week Continuing Resolution

A Virginia Republican congressman and member of the House Freedom Caucus told “Meet the Press” hostess Kristen Welker he supports passing a seven-day continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating past the Saturday expiration of Fiscal Year 2023.

“I would support a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government open while we were passing those bills,” said U.S. Representative Bob Good (R.-VA-05), who was one of 71 Republicans who voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the debt ceiling deal the GOP leadership cut with President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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Bannon Blasts McConnell, GOP Donors Teeing Up 47-Day CR for Virginia Gov. Youngkin’s Trump Challenge

The host of “War Room” blasted Senate Republicans for going along with a 47-day continuing resolution that will fund the federal government until November 17 because he said it was part of a behind-the-scenes plot to foist Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin upon voters as the establishment alternative to former President Donald J. Trump.

“I told you this 47 days in the Senate is McConnell and the big money donors exactly linked to Youngkin’s bid to flip the Senate in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Stephen K. Bannon to his audience.

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Democratic Cam-Girl Candidate Calls Her Stalking Episode ‘Murder in Slow Motion’

On the Blue Virginia campaign blog, Gibson posted a reminiscence, “Susanna Gibson: Stalking Has Been Referred to as Murder in Slow Motion, Which I Can Personally Attest Is True,” recounting how in 2015, the cam-girl was the victim of a stalker.

I caught the interest of a man who I had never met. He began to watch me. Watching my house and observing my schedule as I worked making house calls as a Nurse Practitioner for VCU.

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Youngkin Says Tax Cuts Can Give Virginia a Win Against Other States

 Heading into the second year of his term, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin says he wants to “compete to win” with other states when it comes to attracting business and people to the Commonwealth. 

That was the main takeaway from a speech given by the governor Thursday, when he touted proposed budget amendments to cut $1 billion in taxes and outlined his strategy to “win” in the Commonwealth. 

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Virginia Gets $67 Million for Health Infrastructure

Virginia received about $67.5 million in public health infrastructure funding through a federal grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced.

The grant funding, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, will span over five years to bolster the public health workforce, modernize data infrastructure and improve organizational systems, according to the governor’s office. The Virginia Department of Health will coordinate the grant to determine where the money goes.

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In Rambling Note, Virginia Walmart Shooter Complained of Harassment, ‘Betrayal’

A rambling note left by the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart killer claims that he suffered from harassment and “betrayal” prior to his rampage and that he carried out the killing as if he was “led by Satan.” 

The note, released by Chesapeake police this week was discovered on Andre Bing’s phone after the Tuesday killing, where he shot and killed at least six people before turning the gun on himself. 

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Survey: Virginia Job Openings Increased by 40,000 in September

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

The number of job openings in Virginia increased by 40,000 in September, according to the recently released Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job openings increased from 317,000 in August to 357,000 in September. In addition to job openings, the number of hires also went up. According to the Virginia Employment Commission, there was one unemployed person for every three job openings in the commonwealth.

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Virginia Has Almost 250,000 Illegal Immigrants, Five Sanctuary Localities

Border surge

More than a quarter of a million people in Virginia immigrated to the country illegally, according to estimates, and five localities do not fully work with federal law enforcement regarding deportations.

Although the government does not have data on the exact number of immigrants who came to the country illegally, estimates for the Virginia population are usually somewhere between 250,000 and 275,000. Some proponents of stricter immigration control have warned the failure to enforce immigration laws has become a burden on local economies and has made communities less safe.

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Dem-Aligned Pro-Trans Group in Virginia Helps Kids Run Away from Home, Places Them with ‘Queer Friendly’ Adults

A pro-trans group in Virginia with ties to the Democrat party says it will help gender-confused students run away from home and will place them with “supportive, queer friendly” adults, according to internal materials obtained by The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak.

The Pride Liberation Project is a pro-LGBT student organization that raises money using the Democrat platform ActBlue to help minors leave their families.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Hears Arguments Regarding Convicted Man’s Voting Rights Restoration

The Tennessee Supreme Court heard arguments, on Wednesday, regarding the voting rights of Earnest Falls, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Virginia in 1986.

Earnest Fall’s attorney, Bill Harbison, argued for Falls’ right to vote, saying, “A fundamental bedrock interest in this case is that a person who has the fundamental right to vote does not need his rights restored.”

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Youngkin Still Wants Commanders in Virginia, Path Unclear

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin wants the Washington Commanders to relocate to Virginia, but after funding plans fell apart during the last legislative session, the path forward is not yet clear.

“If the Commanders are going to relocate they should relocate to Virginia,” Youngkin recently said while visiting Annandale for a rally geared toward parents, according to ABC 7.

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Virginia Colleges, Universities Eager to Establish K-12 Lab Schools

Higher education institutions from across Virginia have begun the initial planning stages to establish K-12 lab schools as they await guidance from the Virginia Department of Education.

More than 30 schools have expressed interest in creating lab schools, which would be public schools run by colleges, universities or other higher education institutions. One of the goals of the program, which was approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year, is to connect students with university resources they would not otherwise have access.

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Virginia Gas Prices Trend Downward, Now Below $4

As global and national gasoline prices continue to trend downward, the average cost for a gallon of gas in Virginia has fallen below $4.

As of Aug. 2, the average gallon of gas costs about $3.97, according to numbers provided by AAA. For a gallon of diesel, the average cost is dipping closer to $5 per gallon, but still sits at about $5.16. This is much lower than gas prices one month ago, which were about $4.63 for a gallon of regular gas and more than $5.70 for diesel.

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Virginia Localities Receive Their Allocations from Opioid Settlement Payments

Virginia localities have begun receiving payments from an opioid-related settlement with three distributors, which are separate from the state funding and total more than $4 million in the first installment.

McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health agreed to pay the commonwealth and its localities about $530 million for allegedly being involved in higher overdose rates. Virginia will receive about $15 million and the Opioid Abatement Authority will receive more than $9.9 million in the first installment, in addition to the $4 million heading to localities.

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Economist: ‘When It Comes to Connecticut, Businesses Are Being Incentivized to Look Elsewhere’

LEGO Group’s decision to spend $1 billion to build a new factory near Richmond, Virginia, has led economy and industry experts to raise questions about the status of the Denmark company’s Connecticut headquarters.

The global toymaker announced at a press conference with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) its plans to build a new factory in Chesterfield, a move that would expand its production in the United States and create about 1,760 new jobs.

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Virginia Budget Deal Cuts School Choice Program by More than Half

The Virginia budget deal, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly, would cut funding for a school choice tax credit program by more than half of its current funding.

The Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program provides a 65% tax credit for individuals or businesses who make donations for scholarships to students so they can attend certain private schools and nonpublic preschool programs. Current law caps the state funding for the program at $25 million per year, but a provision in the budget proposal would reduce that cap to only $12 million per year.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Punishing Pennsylvania, Liberating Virginia

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin are moving their states in opposite directions.

Gov. Youngkin is focused on lowering the cost of living and improving Virginia’s appeal as a place to do business. Boeing’s recent announcement that it is moving from Illinois to Virginia is an example of his efforts. Youngkin’s aggressive pro-jobs push led CNBC to call Virginia the No. 1 state in the country for business.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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New Virginia Attorney General Fires Entire Civil Rights Branch of the AG’s Office

On Friday, one day prior to being sworn in as Virginia’s new Attorney General, Jason Miyares (R-Va.) fired 30 employees in the Virginia Attorney General’s office, including the entirety of the Civil Rights Division.

As reported by the Daily Caller, 17 of the 30 employees who were fired were attorneys. Following the mass firing, Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said that the new Attorney General was “restructuring the office, as every incoming AG has done in the past.” She noted that Miyares and former Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.), whom Miyares narrowly defeated in November, “have very different visions for the office.”

In response, Herring’s former spokeswoman Charlotte Gomer criticized the move, claiming that the fired employees were “dedicated and professional public servants who do important work, like investigate wrongful convictions, protect Virginians’ civil rights, help to ensure free and fair elections, and prevent human trafficking and opioid abuse.”

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Commentary: Virginia Paves the Way for Trump’s Return

There has been a great deal of discussion of the widespread Republican victories last week, many of them belaboring the obvious. Fundamentally, the United States is a political society based on personal freedom, a free market, and on democratically legislated and responsibly enforced laws. The current administration’s belief in virtually unrestricted immigration, higher taxes, authoritarian regulation—including COVID vaccine mandates, and a heavy redistribution of wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not—are all antagonistic to the ethos that the United States has had for all of its history. In the circumstances, some sort of reversal was almost inevitable and is the off-year American electoral custom. 

Those who were surprised by the Republican victory in Virginia and the near-dead heat in New Jersey had not recognized the extent of the affront to traditional democratic voters of the Sanders-woke-leftward lurch.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: 2021 Lessons for Republicans

Man in camo holding an American flag

The 2021 elections are filled with key lessons for Republicans.

Vice President Kamala Harris had already warned in a Virginia visit late in the campaign that “what happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.”

If Republicans learn the lessons of 2021 – and apply them to 2022 and 2024 – they can prove Harris was truly prophetic.

It is already clear that the Democrats’ power structure in Washington has learned nothing. In 2009, after losing Virginia and New Jersey, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through Obamacare four days later. Remember, she said cheerfully “Congress [has] to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.” 

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Commentary: The Data Mining of America’s Kids Should Be a National Scandal

As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down for his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, denying a conflict of interest in his decision to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism,” there is a mother in the quiet suburb of Annandale, N.J., who found his answers lacking. And she has questions she wants asked at Garland’s hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.

On a recent Saturday night, Caroline Licwinko, a mother of three, a law school student and the coach to her daughter’s cheerleading squad, sat in front of her laptop and tapped three words into an internet search engine: “Panorama. Survey. Results.”

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Attorney General Garland Grilled by GOP Senators over Department of Justice Memo Targeting Parents at School Meetings

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday faced a litany of hard-edged Senate questions about agreeing to allow federal law enforcement to investigate alleged incidents of outspoken parents at school board meetings.

Garland, in a memo, agreed to responded to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking that the FBI, Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate potential acts of domestic terrorism at the meetings. Parents across the nation have been voicing their concerns about the curricula being taught to their children, in addition to instances like the one currently playing out in northern Virginia, in which there was an apparent coverup of the sexual assault of a female student in a bathroom.

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Virginia Gubernatorial Race: Youngkin Pounces After McAuliffe ‘Abruptly’ Cuts, Runs from TV Interview

  Two weeks before Virginia’s bellwether election, Republican Glenn A. Youngkin‘s campaign is banging the pots and pans to draw attention to Democrat Terence R. “Terry” McAuliffe’s sudden end to his interview with WJLA-TV’s Nick Minock. Three times, a McAuliffe staffer interrupted the interview, which ended with this exchange: McAuliffe Staffer: “Alright Nick we are already over time.” Terry McAuliffe: “Alright, we are over. That’s it. That’s it. Hey I gave you extra time. C’mon man. You should have asked better questions early on. You should have asked questions your viewers care about.” Nick Minock: “Well, we did.” WJLA-TV anchor Jonathan Elias introduced the paired interviews with an explanation for why McAuliffe’s segment was roughly 10 minutes, compared with Youngkin’s 20-minute segment. “We do want to point out that the Terry McAuliffe interview is shorter than our interview with Glenn Youngkin, that was not by our doing,” Elias said. “Nick offered both candidates 20 minutes exactly to be fair, for the interviews. McAuliffe abruptly ended 7 News’ interview after just 10 minutes and told Nick that he should have asked better questions.” The Youngkin campaign quickly tweeted out what happened– the candidate held a rally for 10,000 supporters in the…

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Commentary: The One Number That Puts Youngkin in the Governor’s Mansion

Some more thoughts on the FOX News poll showing former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe up by 5 points over Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin just three (and now two) weeks out from the November 2nd election.

One of the numbers in the poll? McAuliffe’s support among black voters at +63. Which is shorthand for a 79/16 gap — which sounds atrocious (and quite frankly, is atrocious for a party built on the premise that all men should be free).

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Commentary: An American Horror Story

Close up of Capitol with Trump and America flag in the wind

Thomas Caldwell’s wife awakened him in a panic at 5:30 a.m. on January 19.

“The FBI is at the door and I’m not kidding,” Sharon Caldwell told her husband.

Caldwell, 66, clad only in his underwear, went to see what was happening outside his Virginia farm. “There was a full SWAT team, armored vehicles with a battering ram, and people screaming at me,” Caldwell told me during a lengthy phone interview on September 21. “People who looked like stormtroopers were pointing M4 weapons at me, covering me with red [laser] dots.”

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