Category Archives: Virginia Politics

Supervisor Pyles, Walking the Walk

“Tracy has helped improve the lives of many in his District over the years.” –Augusta County resident

Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles stood comfortably at the front of the Deerfield fire station’s meeting room at his Tuesday night town hall in the far western reaches of Pastures District. It’s an area he knows well. Growing up in the scenic beauty of the Deerfield Valley, he was a child of the generation allowed to roam freely, climb trees, explore creeks, scramble the mountain slopes, and spend hours away from parents’ watchful eyes.

Within that district is the tiny unincorporated area known as Deerfield, elevation 1739 feet, located approximately 45 minutes west of Staunton, in a picturesque valley on the western side of Elliott’s Knob, the highest point in Augusta County. It peaks out at an elevation of 4463 feet atop the North Mountain range.

To know the area is to know the man.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Saxman Remembers Colleague Lacey Putney, Virginia Gentleman of the House

The loss on Saturday of former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney brought back memories of this column that I wrote about him when he retired in 2013, a tribute from my former Delegate Chris Saxman who shared his respect for the man:

Delegate Lacey Putney has served in the Virginia House of Delegates longer than former Delegate  Chris Saxman has been alive. Yet the respect for the elder statesman is there in Chris’ column as all take in the unexpected yet not surprising news of Putney’s retirement from the House.

In “Lacey Putney — Virginia Gentleman,” the young gentleman shared some good memories about his time serving for almost a decade with the older gentleman from Bedford. Chris wrote:

Lacey is a model of the unbranded, gentlemanly conservatism that makes Virginia so exceptional. The essence of that conservatism, true conservatism, is grounded in two key elements – pragmatism and self-restraint. What works, works. What doesn’t, shouldn’t.

Lacey Putney was and is a model of Virginia gentlemanly conservatism because Lacey was and is, first and foremost, a gentleman.

As with anyone who has served for 52 years, time catches up and the reluctant decision is made to retire and spend those golden years with family and friends. Putney’s morals from an earlier generation were evident after his wife passed away and he remarried about seven years later, as recounted by Chris:

“I feel like a teenager!” Lacey exclaimed with a gleam in his eye and a smile as broad as the James River. Then he softly explained, “Of course, when Carmela came to visit me in Bedfuhd, she had to stay across the street. We didn’t want people getting the wrong idea.”

Chris added, “Of course not.”

Read Chris’ entire respectful tribute to a man who spent most of his life in the public service of Virginia’s citizens.

Tagged , , ,

Remembering Former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney, Body to Lie in State in State Capitol Rotunda

Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Delegate Lacey Putney said goodbye to the Virginia House of Delegates as he prepared to retire after 52 years. (Photo by Delegate Christopher Peace)

Lacey Putney was the Virginia Gentleman everyone respected. When he retired in 2013, the accolades and remembrances of his years in the Virginia House poured in from all corners of the Commonwealth.

On Saturday Virginia lost the legislative icon who passed away at the age of 89. Friend and colleague, Virginia House Speaker William Howell, wrote a moving tribute:

With a heavy heart I am sad to share that Virginia has lost an icon. The Honorable Lacey E. Putney passed away Saturday at the age of 89. The Virginia House of Delegates mourns the loss of an esteemed leader who was here long before any of us arrived, and whose legacy will live on long after all of us are gone.

“Throughout his 52 years in the House, Lacey came to embody what this institution stands for: productive public service, individual integrity, sound stewardship and so much more.  He was dedicated to the legislature as a vital and necessary institution within state government, possessed an independent voice and always acquitted himself as a wise and effective legislator.  He showed compassion for all with a caring and soft heart, was a man of action and responded to all his constituents with unconditional resolve exemplifying all that a true “citizen legislator” can and should be.

“During his historic tenure, he tirelessly served the constituents of the 19th House District, which encompassed many communities within central Virginia including the counties of Alleghany, Bedford, Botetourt, Franklin, and Rockbridge; and the cities of Bedford, Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington.  It was often said that ‘he was the gentleman from Bedford but was a gentleman of Virginia,’ serving his district and the House of Delegates with distinction.  His capable leadership was consistently felt across our Commonwealth by so many for so long and with so much gratitude.

“Lacey served with 13 Governors, served as acting Speaker of the House of Delegates in 2003, and chaired the House Appropriations Committee and before that House Privileges and Election Committee.  Lacey left the House having held the honor of the longest serving member in the history and was one of the longest serving members in all of our nation’s 99 legislative bodies.

“The House has lost a mighty oak tree, but we will benefit from the roots that Lacey established deeply within our co-equal branch of government.  The Commonwealth will bear the fruit of his productive years of legislative service for many years to come.  We are all grateful for the tremendous accomplishments he has left throughout the Old Dominion, from championing the creation of the Virginia Retirement System for state and local employees and initiating the Tuition Assistance Grant program for the benefit of students to safeguarding Virginia’s finances and establishing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

“Lacey was a dear friend to me and many others.  I will always remember his good-natured humor and unique ability to recall a story for any moment.  During this sad time, Cessie and I pray for his very special wife Carmella, who Lacey deeply cherished, and Lacey’s children, Susan and Lacey Edward, Jr.

“Delegate Putney will lie in state in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, where flags will fly at half-mast in his memory.  He will be the first House member to lie in state since Speaker A.L. Philpott in 1991.  This respectful honor is a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of truly historic Virginian.”

It is the end of an era in Virginia history.

 

Tagged

Ed Gillespie’s New TV Ad Hits D.C. Media Market

Republican Ed Gillespie has come out with a new TV ad for his gubernatorial campaign, the first of the general election to air in the Washington, D.C. media market. Previous ads have been running in markets across Virginia.

This ad shows the son of an immigrant who worked his way through college as a Senate parking lot attendant and later became Counselor to President George W. Bush.  Now he is running for governor “to ensure the next generation can do better than the generation that came before them by putting forward policies that will allow all Virginians to fulfill themselves and pursue their dreams whatever that dream may be,” according to his campaign manager.

The ad appears  just as the latest numbers show Gillespie trailing Democrat Ralph Northam in the most recent Roanoke College Poll. The race, however, has not passed the traditional Labor Day start of campaign season.

TV ad transcript:

Ed Gillespie: “My grandfather worked in a corporate boardroom, but he never sat at a table like this. He polished it. He was a janitor. I inherited his work ethic from my parents, who ran a small grocery store. They never went to college, but insisted I do. I got a degree, started three small businesses, and advised a President of the United States. Where we start out in life shouldn’t determine where we end up. I’m running for governor so all Virginians can realize the American Dream.” 

Tagged

Charlottesville’s Street Artists Turn Talent To ‘Talking Wall,’ 4th Street

Emancipation Park at night, Charlottesville.

A street artist’s rendition of Heather Heyer, victim of a hate crime when a speeding car driven by a neo-Nazi plowed into the crowd during the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville’s 4th Street where Heather Heyer was killed on August 12.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Republican Mike Makee Will Face Democrat Jennifer Foy for Open HD-02 Seat

Mike Makee (pronounced Mackie) served his country as a U.S. Naval commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Now he is prepared to serve his Commonwealth in the General Assembly, stepping in to run for the open House of Delegates Second District seat left vacant by retiring Republican Delegate Mark Dudenhefer.

House District 2 covers parts of Prince William and Stafford counties. In November the District carried Hillary Clinton with 56 percent to Donald Trump’s 39 percent.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Makee, 47, of Stafford, retired in 2012 after 20 years of service, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and earning a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. Currently a government contractor specializing in ballistic missile defense, he serves in the community on the Stafford County Utilities Commission representing the Rock Hill District, and is treasurer of the Stafford County Republican Committee.

House Speaker William Howell, while announcing that a new candidate had been named, noted that Makee “believes in the ideas and values that House Republicans have championed over the last 15 years – creating good jobs, responsibly balancing budgets and solving Virginia’s toughest challenges.”

Republicans had until August 18 to find someone to run after the previous candidate, Laquan Austion, withdrew when questions arose after it was discovered he had not completed the educational degrees listed on his resume.

“I want to use my leadership skills, experience in the Navy and understanding of our community to grow and strengthen our economy, work to solve our transportation problems, and fight for a better future for everyone in Northern Virginia,” Makee said of his decision. He added, “I look forward to campaigning to every voter in every corner of the district and earning the support of my neighbors and our community.”

Makee and his wife are the parents of six children, according to Potomac Local. This is his first run for public office.

Makee will face off against Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy, a VMI graduate who works as a public defender and adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College. She and her husband live in Woodbridge.

Tagged ,

John Adams for AG Endorsed by Va Police Benevolent Association

John and Lisa Adams. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

On Tuesday the Virginia Police Benevolent Association (PBA) endorsed John Adams, the Republican candidate for Attorney General.

In 2013 they endorsed current Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, who is running for reelection against Adams.

Saying “public safety will be my top priority as attorney general,” Adams accepted the endorsement of the organization composed of more than 4,700 law enforcement officers employed by federal, state, county, and municipal governments

Writing on Facebook, Adams noted:

Continue reading

Tagged

Racist, Anti-Semitic Website Kicked to the Curb By Go Daddy

The alt-right, racist, anti-Semitic website Storm Front has been kicked to the curb by Go Daddy. Google has refused to accept them as they look for a host.

Out of curiosity, I went to the website to check out the hate behind Charlottesville’s white nationalist march over the weekend that left three dead and dozens injured. Across the top of the sit, under the name, it proclaimed, “Summer Of Hate Edition.” That pretty much said it all.

I should have stopped then but I dug deeper.

What I found were the “featured” stories on the main page:

  • “Richard Spender’s Press Conference On Charlottesville”
  • Trump Finally Gives Half-Assed Charlottesville Statement to Whining Jew Media
  • Trump Attacks Histrionic Black Bastard Who Resigned From Council Over Alleged Misstatement

As I scrolled down the page, these disgusting titles were listed under the title “Jewish Problem:”

  • Kikes Pressing Trump to Condemn Innocent Nazis Who were Attacked by Terrorist Cops and Leftist Terrorists
  • Starbucks Managers Interview Somalis with Latent Tuberculosis for Jobs as Part of Jewish Chairman’s Plan to Destroy America
  • London: Inbred Jewish Tapir Stabs Two People in Kike Neighborhood

I’m not around people who talk like that so it was a little shocking.

Perhaps the most disgusting front page article was this: “Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut.” For those unfamiliar with the name, this is the young woman killed Saturday when a speeding car plowed into a large crowd during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

For those having difficult believing such hate is around us, here are the stories as proof. On top of that, they carry the David Duke radio show including the August 10 show that was titled, “The David Duke Show: A Call for Every True White Man to Stand Up in Charlottesville.”

I haven’t included any links. That’s intentional.

There’s more but that gives an idea of just one of the many hate-filled websites that were behind the march in Charlottesville … the mindset and the propaganda.

It’s disgusting. Pardon me while I go wash my hands.

Charlottesville Judge Sides With Alt-Right, Violence Breaks Out Friday Night

A federal judge sided with alt-right organizers and upheld their right to meet Saturday in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, where the Robert E. Lee statue is located that city council wants to remove.

Bearing Drift contributor Rick Sincere wrote Thursday about the last-minute lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Virginia and the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Jason Kessler, alt-right organizer of the event, after the city of Charlottesville revoked the permit for Emancipation Park and moved it to McIntire Park about a mile away. McIntire Park is much larger than Emancipation Park and, with thousands of protesters expected, the city is understandably concerned.

Friday night by 10:00 reports were coming from observers in Charlottesville that hundreds of alt-right supporters were already marching with torches through the streets and surrounding the newly renovated Rotunda on the University of Virginia campus where a brawl broke out between white supremacists and those opposing them.

NBC-12 will have coverage. Be safe, Cville.

Tagged , ,

Where Are the GOP Gubernatorial Candidates This Weekend?

The GOP’s candidates are campaigning around Virginia this weekend. Where can you find them?

Ed Gillespie, candidate for Governor

Friday:  Wytheville, Bristol
Saturday:  Smyth, Pulaski, Floyd, Patrick, and Carroll Counties.

Galax — Fiddler’s Convention and Poor Man’s Dinner

 

Jill Vogel, candidate for Lieutenant Governor

Not available.

 

 

John Adams, candidate for Attorney General

Saturday: 
1:30 – Newport Agricultural Festival (434 Blue Grass Trail, Newport)
6:00 – Poor Man’s Dinner and Fiddler’s Convention in Galax
Tagged , , ,

Charlottesville Prepares For Alt-Right Crowds, Announces Street Closings

Street closings that will begin late Friday afternoon and last all Saturday have been announced by the Charlottesville Police Department as they prepare for what is being described as “largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A change in venue was met with protests from alt-right leaders who have filed a complain after their rally location was changed from Emancipation Park, former Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated for removal by Charlottesville City Council.

Bearing Drift’s Rick Sincere reported on the latest:

An article published on Bearing Drift is among the exhibits attached to a complaint filed in federal court late today by the ACLU of Virginia and the Rutherford Institute, calling on the City of Charlottesville to reverse its decision to revoke a permit granted to alt-right activist Jason Kessler to hold a rally in what was until recently called Lee Park, now known as Emancipation Park.

Billed as the “Unite the Right” rally, Newsweek reported on those planning to attend:

Continue reading

Tagged

Poll Shows GOP Needs to Catch Up In Gov, LG, AG Races

It’s early in the race. The numbers are skewed. We haven’t passed Labor Day, the traditional beginning of the fall election season. There’s still plenty of time before the November 7, 2017, election day.

Those are the reasons I can toss out to explain why Virginia Republicans are trailing Democrats for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General in the latest Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Public Policy Outreach-L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs poll. The poll also covered other areas of the 2017 election.

Here is the rundown of the numbers among likely voters.

Governor:

  • Ralph Northam (D)  42 percent
  • Ed Gillespie (R)  37 percent
  • Cliff Hyra (L)  6 percent
  • Undecided  13 percent

Lieutenant Governor:

  • Justin Fairfax (D)  43 percent
  • Jill Vogel (R)  38 percent
  • Undecided  15 percent

Attorney General:

  • Mark Herring (D)  45 percent
  • John Adams (R)  39 percent
  • Undecided  15 percent

For full results and to dig into the cross-tabs, see the poll results here.

Polls Show Northam Leading in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

2017 Virginia Gubernatorial Debate with Democrat Ralph Northam, Republican Ed Gillespie, and moderator Judy Woodruff (PBS NewsHour). Photo by Matt Hall.

The latest Virginia statewide poll on the gubernatorial race came out Tuesday (see Northam leads Gillespie by 6 points in new poll, Trump’s Va. approval at 36 percent).

As I studied over it trying to decide how to pass it along (not sugar coat or spin but, rather, lay the facts out there), former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling posted his thoughts on Facebook that mirrored my own. I share them here:

“This is the second poll this week to give LG Ralph Northam an early lead over Republican Ed Gillespie. An earlier poll showed the candidates tied. We will see a plethora of these polls in coming weeks. My best advice is to ignore them. They haven’t been terribly reliable in recent years.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gillespie will win big ‘downstate’ and the outcome of the election will depend on Northam’s ability to turn out the traditional Democratic vote in Northern Virginia and urban centers.

“At the end of the day, unless one candidate makes a big mistake, it will likely be a 2-3 point race, one way or the other. That’s been the trend in these top of the ticket statewide races for the past decade or so. The only blow out was in 2009 when Bob McDonnell defeated Creigh Deeds by a wide margin. All of the other races have been very close, and this one will likely be close as well.”

It is difficult to put a lot of faith in polls these days but if a trend is developing, it will be worth paying attention to in the months ahead. However, it is still early and we haven’t even crossed the traditional Labor Day beginning of the campaign season. Stay tuned….

Sources:

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

Tagged , , ,

Failure to Repeal Obamacare Results in Lawsuit in Virginia Against RNC, RPV, Blackwell, Dunbar, Whitbeck

Claiming that the GOP “has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats,” Virginia Beach attorney Bob Heghmann, 70, has filed a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee, Republican Party of Virginia, National Committeeman Morton Blackwell, National Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar, and RPV Chairman John Whitbeck.

The 24-page lawsuit (see copy here) is dated August 3.

It appears Mr. Heghmann is angry that the GOP was unable to overturn Obamacare and claims GOP representatives dangled the repeal as a means to fundraise while supposedly knowing a repeal and replace law would never be passed.

In the lawsuit it notes that “[t]his commitment to Repeal and Replace Obamacare was stated not only in campaign and fund raising literature but in the Republican Party Platform such as the one adopted at the Republican Party Convention in 2016 which clearly stated, “We agree with the four dissenting judges ofthe Supreme Court: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” It must be removed and replaced with an approach based on genuine competition, patient choice, excellent care, wellness, and timely access to treatment. To that end, a Republican president, on the first day in office, will use legitimate waiver authority under the law to halt its advance and then, with the unanimous support ofCongressional Republicans, will sign its repeal.” 2016 Republican Party Platform at p. 36.”

Continue reading

UVa’s Bob Gibson to Moderate Lieutenant Governor Debate With Vogel, Fairfax

Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidates Jill Holtzman Vogel and Justin Fairfax are set to participate in a Lieutenant Governor debate on Wednesday, August 9, at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Bob Gibson of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service will moderate the debate that is sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and PVCC. The event is open to the public, and will include questions submitted by the audience.

Republican Vogel, 46, and Democrat Fairfax, 38, won their respective party primaries in June. Vogel would be Virginia’s first woman to hold the position. Fairfax would be the second African American lieutenant governor, following Democrat Doug Wilder who won in 1986 and then went on to become Virginia’s first African American governor in 1990.  Both Vogel and Fairfax are attorneys.

Continue reading

Tagged ,
SBC Voices

Southern Baptist News & Opinion

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

LynnRMitchell.com

Virginia politics and more