Tag Archives: Bill Howell

Howell announces House of Delegates 2016 standing committee assignments

Richmond capitolBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On the opening day of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) released the names of delegates assigned to the standing committees. According to a press release from the Speaker, “Pursuant to House Rule 15, all committee members are appointed by the Speaker, who also designates the chairman and vice chairman of each committee. A full list of all assignments to the House standing committees can be found here.”

PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Cole (Chairman), Ingram, Jones, Albo, O’Bannon, Miller (Vice Chairman), Landes, Hugo, Ransone, O’Quinn, Minchew, Rush, Fowler, Adams, Miyares, Sickles, Rasoul, Lindsey, Murphy, Torian, Price, Boysko.

COURTS OF JUSTICE
Albo (Chairman), Kilgore, Bell (of Albemarle) (Vice Chairman), Cline, Gilbert, Miller, Loupassi, Habeeb, Minchew, Morris, Leftwich, Adams, Campbell, Collins, Miyares, Watts, Toscano, Herring, McClellan, Hope, Mason, Krizek.

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Del. David Ramadan will not run for re-election

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Delegate David Ramadan (R-87th House), has decided not to seek re-election in November. The announcement was made today from the House floor in Richmond during the reconvene session to consider overrides to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoed bills. Ramadan won a squeaker in 2013 by less than 200 votes and was expected to face a tough battle from Democrats who will now have an advantage to pick up that seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

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Bill Howell responds to Va State Bar’s boycott of Israel

Scales of justiceBy Lynn R. Mitchell

News of the Virginia State Bar’s cancellation of a trip to Israel for its Midyear Legal Seminar quickly spread through social media on Saturday, a decision that appeared to come as a surprise to many within that very group who had received the news through an email.

On Sunday Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell sent a letter to Kevin Martingayle, president of the Virginia State Bar (see text of letter here):

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Bill Howell receives endorsements from five Republican Stafford supervisors

Bill Howell endorse by supsBy Lynn R. Mitchell

During college, Eric Cantor interned in the office of then-Congressman Tom Bliley, then attended law school and served time in the Virginia General Assembly before running for his mentor’s congressional seat after Bliley announced his retirement.

Susan Stimpson, who was mentored by Speaker Bill Howell and served three years on the Stafford Board of Supervisors — leaving in 2013 to unsuccessfully pursue the lieutenant governor position — chose not to wait for her former friend to retire from the House of Delegates. In a hard-hitting campaign, she is running against Howell for the 28th House District seat.

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Positive and questionable political actions

By Daniel P. Cortez

With the last hard snow behind us … fingers crossed … incumbents and their ambitious political opponents pound the pavement seeking support.  Locally nervous nellies use blog or Facebook posts to sway voters and genuine media who scan the web for the pulse of our community.

Elitist political establishment types using large cash reserves from dubious supporters for direct mail propaganda befuddle marginally informed citizens during this off-year election.  In Stafford County, House Speaker Delegate Bill Howell clearly worried about challenger former Supervisor Susan Stimpson has been flooding mailboxes with expensive reelection mailers.  Amusing is his repeated, questionable General Assembly claim of, “A balanced budget that does not raise taxes.”

Stafford officials may look at this statement and chortle as they recently voted to approve 16 additional firefighters through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Supervisor Bob Thomas indicated his concern over the actions future fiscal impact citing a “million dollar cliff” being examined. Firefighting officials state the desire for the temporary positions to be full time after the two year grant period expires.

Fiscally the majority of the Commonwealth’s blue collar workers would be hard-pressed to say their taxes have gone down, period, as they struggle to make ends meet. Funny how legislators won’t discuss user fees which are a “tax” that keeps going up.  Our well-heeled politicians don’t have that problem as a general rule.

And little help came from Howell and the General Assembly directly with both sides bragging of “better days are here” as the majority of independent voters shake our heads.  And as the region’s senior delegate and Speaker, he remains at war with Governor Terry McAuliffe, opposing federal aid providing help to Virginia’s large medically uninsured minority and immigrant community.

Hypocritical how Howell remains vociferous against accepting federal aid for our mostly minority and indigent community, but remains silent over a federal grant taken from Virginia’s share of taxable income for firefighters. Increased Stafford taxation is clearly just around the bend, thanks to Howell’s lack of support in an effort to pad an election year flyer.

Stimpson also boasts of sessions without raising taxes and her service to our community, but in fairness where is the verifiable Christian charity shown by both candidates to our oppressed?

Is it wrong to want specificity regarding Howell’s Dominion Leadership Trust fund and his fiscal compassion? Since 2002, 14 million dollars has been donated by taxpayers and businesses to the fund, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.  How much has gone directly to help the indigent or the badly needed minority voter in the region by Howell in scholarships, grants, or actions?  Still waiting for his campaign to provide such compassionate information. Not hard to understand why the Howell campaign is not forthcoming. Or will the expected response be, “This money is exclusively for candidates.”  How compassionate of Howell.

So much for the negative.  For those who relish civil war sites and want to attend a function for a genuine servant of the people, there’s a very positive event for Supervisor Jeff Sili of Caroline County on April 11. Sili, the very popular veteran supervisor, is kicking off his reelection campaign at Moss Neck Manor beginning at 9 a.m.

Historians will acknowledge Moss Neck with towering trees, a rolling landscape, and Greek revival antebellum charm as the estate where General Thomas J. Jackson spent the winter of 1862 after the Battle of Fredericksburg.  During this event the Commonwealth Hunt from King George will bring horses and hounds for an early morning demonstration of the traditions of Virginia hunting and individual property rights.  Ever popular former Virginia Governor George Allen and Congressman Rob Wittman headline the event in support of Sili. Personally, I’m looking forward to the “Hunt Breakfast.”

Sili, one the regions most requested key note speakers for Veterans and Memorial Day programs, is widely embraced by the minority community.  His involvements from Wounded Warrior fishing, to contributing time and money with DIVAS (Diverse Individuals Valuing Self and Another) and Caroline’s Promise, which are youth mentoring programs, remain noteworthy.  His town hall meetings are standing room only with a racial diversity seldom seen by his Republican colleagues.

When it comes to outreach, Sili and wife Susan set an example for all area politicians by faithfully supporting multicultural events and attending church regularly with the African American community at Mt. Zion Church in lower Caroline.  He’s the rare politician who, during the recent hard snow, mounted his tractor and plowed too many neighbors driveways to count.  Noted beekeepers, they recently donated hundreds of dollars of home grown honey from Sili’s well-cultivated hives to support the Ruritans.

The independent voter clearly can see the value of supporting in-touch working class local politicians over contentious elitists who largely ignore the grass roots minority community or veterans, and have never gotten their hands dirty.

Yes, the politically worthy and the questionable. For those who choose to vote.

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Daniel Cortez, a distinguished Vietnam veteran and award winning writer/broadcaster, is active in veterans and political affairs with an independent voter perspective. He can be reached at dpcortez1969@yahoo.com

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Bill Howell campaign team races on, hits 10,000 doors in 28th House District

Bill Howell 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

He may be Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates but when Delegate Bill Howell (R-Stafford) heard he had opposition from his former mentee Susan Stimpson, he hit the ground running with a team that has worked social media, knocked doors, and have painted the 28th House District red with Howell yard signs. The challenge, and challenger, were taken seriously.

By mid-March, the Howell team has already knocked on more than 10,000 doors as dozen of volunteers and staff have fanned out in the district, along with the Speaker, to reach out to constituents. Howell expressed gratitude:

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Bill Howell races out of the campaign gate

Bill HowellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia’s House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell has never been one to shy away from a challenge so when he heard he had tea party opposition for the upcoming Republican primary, he hit the ground running. After the General Assembly was finished, of course.

His opponent, Susan Stimpson, was a knife in his back, someone he had mentored over the years and someone who would have been on track to take on the mantle when Howell retired. But a funny thing happened along the way when Stimpson decided to buck her old friend, side with the opposition, and run against him. It is not uncommon in politics but always a sad commentary on the betrayer (see Stimpson violated the first rule of politics).

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Howell does mic drop on Stimpson, submits 1,500 signatures, is first on ballot

Matt Colt HallBy Matt Colt Hall
Guest Post

Mic Drop: When a performer or speaker intentionally drops or throws the microphone on the floor after an awesome performance. –from UrbanDictionary.com

Today was the first day to file for the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate, and there was news out of Stafford County. House Speaker William J. Howell filed first in the 28th District with 1,500+ signatures to get on the ballot. The number required is 125.

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Speaker Bill Howell addresses congressional redistricting case

Bill HowellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) issued a press release Friday addressing Page v. Va. State Board of Elections, the federal court case pending before the United States Supreme Court regarding Virginia’s congressional district map.

In his press release, the Speaker noted:

“The Virginia House of Delegates fully intends to exercise its legal right to attempt to remedy any legal flaw ultimately found by the courts with respect to the current congressional districts. However, we believe it would be inappropriate to act before the defendants have fully litigated this case. We are confident that a stay will be granted.
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Better Fellows sought despite Howell’s resistance

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

In spite of being politically jaded, I recently visited the General Assembly. Yes, the extreme partisanship and elitism of some of Virginia’s legislators was evident. But I found hope in our young people’s involvement through the Governor’s Fellows Program. Even as whispers were rampant about Stafford’s 71-year-old Delegate William J. Howell.

When not in session, politicos scurried in and out of meetings with special interest groups and citizens. Clearly the Cantor catastrophe had conservatives up for election somewhat edgy. Many attempt to soften their image or cotton up to tea party extremists in hopes of not being primaried. One even brought in his dog.

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Speaker Bill Howell pushes back at WaPost editorial on Medicaid expansion

Bill HowellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Sunday the Washington Post editorial board took aim at Virginia Republicans generally, and specifically at Speaker Bill Howell (see ‘Massive resistance,’ again, in Virginia). Speaker Howell responded to the broad-brushed accusations in a statement:

“This editorial is patently offensive to not only me, but also to the many honorable men and women serving in the House of Delegates and the millions of hard-working taxpayers who share our deep public policy concerns about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. To compare the legitimate and widely-acknowledged policy concerns we have with Medicaid expansion to the shameful and ignorant policy of massive resistance is not only outrageous, it is, frankly, indefensible.
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Stimpson cries foul over ‘The Howell Report’

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

It’s politics as usual in local Republican circles as Democrats are watching and smiling at the possibly of another tea party take-down, Cantor style. But this time the target is Stafford Delegate Bill Howell. The latest melodrama is over Howell’s Official Constituent Survey I and area voters received in the mail a week ago. It has his primary opponent Tea Party partisan Susan Stimpson fuming.

It was the usual pointed establishment Republican questionnaire attempting to bolster the image of the incumbent Howell and the ultra-conservative positions he is attempting to force on Stafford and Fredericksburg area voters.

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Political and media hypocrisy laced with hope

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

After several bedridden weeks battling the flu and then watching the President’s State of the Union Address, I’ve realized Stafford voters need inoculation from Democratic political hypocrites and elitists’ moral turpitude. Fortunately, actions by former Governor George Allen and wife Susan provide hope for Virginia Republicans  struggling for unity.

Raising conservative angst was President Obama’s depiction of a booming jobs market in our record deficit economy and free community college at taxpayer expense. While socialistically invigorating to Democratic partisans, they remain troublesome to Republicans and Independents.

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Speaker Howell reacts to McDonnell verdict, stands by his friend

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

One of the character witnesses at Tuesday’s sentencing trial for former Governor Bob McDonnell was Virginia House of Representatives Speaker Bill Howell who stood up for his friend and fellow Republican. Washington Post reporter Matthew Zapotosky, who was in the courthouse in Richmond, noted the Speaker’s defense of McDonnell:

Speaker of the Virginia House William J. Howell (R-Stafford) has told Judge James Spencer that the trial and conviction of former governor Bob McDonnell has already served as a significant deterrent to other state lawmakers who might be tempted to break the law.

He said both caucuses of both chambers of the legislature have had “people” (FBI agents, presumably) brief them on the trial’s lessons. As a result, he said, legislators were especially concerned to “dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s.”

He noted that the legislature has already enhanced state ethics laws as a result of McDonnell’s actions and is likely to  stiffen those laws when the annual legislative session opens next week.
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Time for holiday cheer or jeer?

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

It will be difficult depending on which political blowhard one chooses to listen to, as to how exuberant independent voters should be in the New Year.

Like many, I remain jaded when Democrats and Republicans firmly suggest they exclusively remain “the light and the way.” Especially if they suggest divine providence ordered their political involvement … and some have.

But I acknowledge some exceptional folks on both sides of the aisle. Presidents John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and father and son Bush are at the top of my chart. Plus former Senator George Allen and Senator Diane Feinstein remain two of the more civil and dedicated politicians I’ve had the honor to work with closely.

Sadly, their ability to reach across the aisle is not shared by their contemporaries. And the collective political failure of both parties has allowed the once dominant U.S. military to be decimated by an administration bent on unilateral appeasement through sequestration.
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