Tag Archives: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Rob Bell will announce GOP candidacy for attorney general

Rob Bell 3By Lynn R. Mitchell

Republican Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle will announce later this week that he will seek the party’s nomination for attorney general, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This will be Bell’s second bid for the position that he lost in 2013 to Mark Obenshain who went on to lose to Democrat Mark Herring.

Ed Gillespie has announced he will seek the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.

Rob Bell has tried for years to get a Tebow Bill passed to allow homeschool athletes to play with their local public school teams like former professional football player Tim Tebow did on his way to becoming a Denver Bronco quarterback.

The Republican nominee will run against Herring who has already announced he will seek re-election as attorney general.

Grassroots for Rob Bell Facebook page.

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‘Freedom Caucus’ includes Virginians Brat and Morgan Griffith; here’s the list of 36

GOP elephants fightingBy Lynn R. Mitchell

With the turmoil on the Republican side of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives, questions have been asked about the 36 who are members of the “Freedom Caucus,” the tea party-inspired group that has stonewalled GOP leadership and demanded government shut-downs . Who are they?

Wikipedia has what is reported to be an accurate list of the 36 members that includes Dave Brat — no surprise there — but it also includes a name that I was not expecting to see: Morgan Griffith in the 9th Congressional District (see list here). I checked last week with his district representative for confirmation but did not receive a response.

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RVA played host to the World, displayed charm of historic buildings, cobblestone streets, Southern hospitality

Bicycle race RVA 2

Photo by Dean Hoffmeyer, Times-Dispatch

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Richmond, Virginia, hosted the World, and by Sunday afternoon at 3:30 it was over. The UCI Road World Championships were held in the United States for the first time since 1986 when they met in Colorado Springs and we — Virginia — were the lucky ones to get it.

Oh, sure, there were grumblings about road closures and the financial costs to prepare for the World to come visit and businesses that saw a drop in customers due to limited access because of street closures. On the other hand, there are sure to be other businesses that reaped huge financial rewards — hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations.

Worldwide television coverage offered the opportunity through well-placed (and often) TV ads to show off everything that is wonderful and special and unique about Virginia — our mountains, beaches, history, restaurants, universities, entertainment, outdoor activities and, of course, Richmond itself with the mighty James River that flows through the city. I even heard the announcer proclaim as riders passed the Shockoe Bottom flood wall that it was the longest one in the world with a $150 million price tag to protect the city’s vulnerable riverfront locations. (If you’ve never seen the wall, it’s quite an engineering accomplishment.)

But none of that mattered today with the excitement of the Men’s Elite, the final road race of the week-long event. Huge crowds lined the route that snaked along city streets and cheered on cyclists as they passed, shouting and applauding and ringing cowbells as television cameras caught it all. NBC’s coverage couldn’t help but show off Monument Avenue, Libby Hill, Broad Street, Governor Street (announcers kept calling it “Governor’s Hill”), Carytown, the Fan, and downtown RVA — and throughout the week, cyclists were on streets in the West End, Hanover, and other surrounding areas.

In the end, Team USA’s highest placing was #12 with Alex Howes. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan came in first place to the roar of the crowd (see Slovakian Sagan wins elite men’s road race by Vic Door Jr). The race had begun at 9am; it was now almost 3:30pm, and it would seem that someone who had been pushing himself on a bicycle for that long would be ready to collapse. But he didn’t. He smiled and waved at the crowd, kissed his girlfriend, hopped back on his bike, popped a wheelie, and headed off down the sidewalk.

I don’t know who was responsible for pitching the idea and then selling it to all who needed to be on board but it came together and captured national and international interest in the fall of 2015. Thanks, RVA, for having the dream and the vision to bring the World to Virginia. It won’t soon be forgotten.

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SCOTUS keeps McDonnell free during appeal as more question conviction

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Good news was handed down Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s former Governor Bob McDonnell would remain free as they decide whether to take up his case (see U.S. Supreme Court lets McDonnell stay free for now by Frank Green).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

In a one-paragraph order, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was ordered to hold off making its July 10 ruling upholding McDonnell’s 11 corruption convictions final, permitting McDonnell to remain on bond.

Should the justices not take the case, the stay ordered this afternoon will end automatically. If the court takes the case the stay will continue, the court ordered.

McDonnell’s lawyers made the request to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who referred the matter to the full court. McDonnell needed a majority vote for the stay – it is unclear if the full court voted – but only needs four votes for the court to agree to take up his appeal.

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LynnRMitchell.com endorses a 2016 GOP Presidential Primary

Primary by J HigginsWe are two days from the Republican Party of Virginia’s quarterly state central meeting that will be held in Staunton to determine if 2016’s presidential nomination will be by Primary or Convention. Both sides of the issue have voiced opinions through various media and blog outlets, hoping the representatives who sit on RPV’s governing board are listening and weighing the pros and cons. Because LynnRMitchell.com supports a 2016 Presidential Primary for the Republican Party, we are providing the links of the pro-primary posts that have appeared on this blog from various authors who have provided many reasons why Virginia needs a Primary. –The Editors

Bill Bolling: Virginia needs a Presidential Primary

ACLU suggests mandatory 2016 Va GOP Convention fee same as poll tax, could invite litigation

Primary v convention 2016: Practical, logistical concerns for Fairfax County Republicans by Fairfax County Republican Committee Chairman Matt Ames

A 2016 Presidential Primary will be more inclusive by former Staunton Republican Committee Chairman Alex Davis

How a 2016 Presidential Convention disenfranchises Virginians by former SCC Western Vice Chairwoman Trixie Averill

Kenney: My husband is wrong by Melissa Kenney

2016 Primary vs Convention: How to avoid a logistical nightmare by Gerrie Smith

‘No to Virginia GOP Convention’ by Fishersville resident Larry Tillett (LTE in Richmond Times-Dispatch – Correspondent of the Day)

College Republican leader supports Republican party inclusion by Nick Welham

Pro-primary Bedford Republican responds to email from pro-convention Stearns by Dolores Switzer

Western Tidewater Young Republican chairman supports a primary for 2016 by Thomas Turner

2016 Primary: Here’s who to contact to voice that opinion

Legal, financial reasons for a Virginia GOP 2016 Presidential Primary

Wake up, GOP!

Graphic by JHPolitics.com

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‘No to Virginia GOP convention’ … RTD Correspondent of the Day

Richmond Times Dispatch 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County resident Larry Tillett is Friday’s Correspondent of the Day in the Richmond Times-Dispatch writing in favor of a 2016 Presidential PRIMARY (see No to a Virginia GOP convention):

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I continually read about the Virginia State Central Committee preparing to decide on the issue of a presidential primary or a convention to select the Republican nominee for president.

If it chooses a convention, which only a few voters will attend, it will disenfranchise thousands of Virginia voters. I cannot for the life of me see how this would benefit Virginia voters.

The committee says Democrats could skew the vote because they can vote in a primary. How ridiculous is that? If the Democrats are really intent on upsetting the process, it seems to me that it would be much easier to recruit enough people to sign a meaningless pledge and hop on a bus to a convention than to get enough to upset the vote in the entire state.

The selection of a presidential candidate should fall to the people of Virginia. Virginia will most likely be a crucial battlefield state in 2016 and, if the SCC shuts out the people in the selection of the Republican nominee and the convention selects a person of little appeal to the people, you can kiss Virginia’s electoral votes goodbye.

All this talk about a convention or a primary is simply a way for one group to say we are in charge and we know best. I believe that the people know best and you should let them decide.

The United States is too precious to risk this next election on the selection of a nominee who cannot win. I do not care if you call yourself Republican, tea party, libertarian or what else, you must trust the citizens of Virginia to do what is right for Virginia.

We the people have been ignored long enough; let us have our say.

Lawrence Tillett.

Fishersville.

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Attention America: You’ve been hacked by China

HackedBy Lynn R. Mitchell

A letter shows up in your mailbox from the U.S. government with notification that your personal information has been compromised after a huge hacking incident by a foreign government believed to be China. You’re confused because you’ve never been employed by the federal government. But you are included because you know someone who was a government employee and, in the process of acquiring a security clearance, they provided the names of family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who now must look over their shoulders and wonder if they, too, will become victims. That would be you.

Think it couldn’t happen? It already has. As former State Department employee Matthew Palmer was quoted as saying in USA Today, “Who is in danger? I listed friends on those forms and my family members. … Are some hackers going to start going after them?”

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Back in the homeschool classroom: Did Terry McAuliffe understand the ‘Tebow Bill’ he vetoed?

school booksBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia homeschoolers were disappointed when Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed the “Tebow Bill” — a homeschool sports access bill — after years of working to get its passage in the General Assembly.

Jeanne Faulconer, a homeschool mom who has educated her children at home for 17 years, wrote in Friday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch about the governor’s seeming lack of understanding everything around the bill. Her response to the governor (see Homeschoolers Are In (Reaction to Governor’s Veto of Homeschool Sports Access Bill):

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Flashback: Charlottesville ABC agents should be reminded of the Alicia Showalter Reynolds tragedy

Elizabeth Daly

Elizabeth Daly

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Editor’s note: With the latest incident involving a UVa student and Virginia ABC agents that occurred earlier this week (see Students Speak Out on ABC Arrest of UVa Student), it seemed a good time to rerun this post from 2013 when ABC agents made news with another UVa student.]

I had no intention of writing about the Charlottesville ABC agents who apprehended a UVa student in the false belief she was underage with beer. Her “beer” turned out to be sparkling water but a series of events led to her arrest and she was thrown in the slammer overnight. ABC agents thought their lives were in danger, and the young lady thought her life was in danger, and it ended up in a big mess.

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Hopewell was issuing 1,000 speeding tickets a month on 2-mile stretch of I-295

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Amid questions about the high number of tickets written along a two-mile stretch of I-295 — estimated to be approximately 1,000 per month, Virginia General Assembly has stepped in. A couple of questions came to mind when I read about this issue. What criteria for pulling over speeding motorists, i.e., one mile over the speed limit? Five miles over the speed limit? Also, if that many tickets were written and it was enough to call AAA’s attention to the problem, one has to wonder if perhaps better signage to alert motorists of the correct speed limit would have been a remedy (see Virginia General Assembly puts brakes on speed traps):

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Sine die … goodbye, RVA

2-16-11 Bloggers Day 088By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Virginia General Assembly closed out their 2015 session late Friday night and all are headed home after almost two months in Richmond.

Details are in today’s Richmond Times-Disptach (see Legislature adjourns after passing ethics package by Markus Schmidt and Jim Nolan).

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Maureen is sentenced, remains free on appeal

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Bill McKelway and Graham Moomaw with the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Maureen McDonnell’s sentence from court Friday in Richmond:

Former first lady Maureen McDonnell was sentenced Friday to 12 months and 1 day in prison on federal corruption charges. U.S. Judge James R. Spencer also ordered two years supervised probation and allowed her to remain free pending appeal.

The sentencing came after an emotional hearing of more than three hours capped by the testimony of a visibly emotional McDonnell, making her first extensive comments on her case, and preceded by her daughter, Rachel, who told of the hurt and division the scandal had brought upon the her parents and the five children.

Maureen McDonnell riveted the courtroom when she said the “venom” from benefactor-turned-prosecution witness Jonnie R. Williams Sr. had “poisoned” her family, marriage and the state, resulting in the historic trial on accusations of trading access to the governor’s office for gifts, loans and favors.

The Governor was in the courtroom, according to McKelway and Moomaw, but did not address the court. However, Mrs. McDonnell spoke on her behalf, noting that, “We’re not ready for a second chance until we are broken”:

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Hitting the ‘Back Roads’ with Bob Brown and Bill Lohmann

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Book Back Roads

I have been wanting a copy of “Back Roads: People, Places and Pie Around Virginia” featuring photos by Bob Brown and narrative by Bill Lohmann, both with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, so for my birthday my step-dad presented a copy with the inscription, “Happy birthday to our ultimate ‘back road’ traveler.”

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Duff’s Sugar House at Fair Lawn Farm … 2014 Highland Maple Festival

By Lynn R. Mitchell

This is the 56th year of the Maple Festival held in Highland County, a celebration of the sugar maples that are prolific throughout this serenely beautiful western-most part of Virginia. Since the weather was great, we pointed our car west on the first day of the festival which presented an opportunity to stop at a familiar place and see familiar faces.Tim Duff (pictured above) is at home in the sugar house on his Fair Lawn Farm south of Monterey.

We’ve been visiting this twenty-year Coast Guard veteran since before he became sheriff of Highland County a few years ago. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, he demonstrates how to boil down sugar water to make maple syrup the old way. And second, he enjoys educating the public about the process that’s all done with authentic equipment. The flat pan used for evaporation is 135 years old (I believe he said it’s made of English tin), and other pieces of equipment are over a century old.

Always willing to answer questions as he interacts with visitors who crowd inside his sugaring house, Tim is at ease in the familiar surroundings. In fact, he’s downright jovial. This year was no exception. He was quick to credit neighboring farms for sharing sugar water since trees have not been as productive. Neighbors helping neighbors is the way it’s done in Highland County.

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Bill Janis to run for retiring Walter Stosch’s state senate seat

Bill Janis

Former Del. Bill Janis

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Delegate Bill Janis (R-Glen Allen) has announced that he will seek the 12th District Senate Seat that will be vacated by the retiring Walter Stosch, according to a tweet from Jim Nolan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Janis, 52, represented the 56th House District from 2002-2012 that included Goochland, Louisa, and party of Henrico and overlapped parts of Stosch’s senate district.

He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and the University of Virginia Law School. Janis was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1984-1995 as a Lieutenant Commander and served during the Persian Gulf War. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Bill Janis and his wife Rose have two children.

Update: Here is the announcement from Bill Janis:

For the past six years we have witnessed President Barack Obama attempt to fundamentally transform America. Through litigation, regulations, legislation and Executive Orders, he has systematically attacked and undermined the constitutional principles and institutions which have traditionally united us and made America great:

The principle that the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations;

The belief that all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society;

The commitment to fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints at all levels of government;

The belief that peace is best preserved through a strong national defense;

Our American free enterprise system, the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice the world has ever known;

And the common consensus that faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

Over the past year, we have seen Governor Terry McAuliffe attempt to fundamentally transform Virginia in the same way, and remake the Commonwealth in his own progressive image and likeness. He has made the priority of his first year in office an aggressive effort to expand Obamacare in Virginia through Medicaid. He has called for expansive new gun control laws that will limit the rights of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms. He has systematically pushed for higher taxes to fuel increased government spending without regard to the sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars which has traditionally been the hallmark of Virginia’s public finances.

In fact, during last year’s General Assembly session, the Governor nearly succeeded in forcingObamacare expansion in Virginia.  Only the hard work of the Republican majority in the House and the retirement of a single Democrat Senator, allowed the Republicans to regain the majority control of the Senate, defeat Obamacare expansion, and pass a balanced two-year budget.

As the General Assembly convenes today in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe stands ready to renew his push to fundamentally transform our state.  He will renew his push to expand Obamacare in Virginia through Medicaid.  He will put the power of his office behind new efforts to further limit our Second Amendment rights. He will promote the inexorable growth of government spending, which fuels the annual push for higher taxes and fees.

This sessionthe citizens of Virginia are safe from his efforts because the Senate Republicans still hold the majority necessary to say “no” to this fundamental transformation of our Commonwealth. 

This November however, every member of the Virginia Senate will stand for election by the people. With the retirement of Senator Walter Stosch, the voters of the 12th Senate District will have the solemn duty to elect a new Senator to represent them for the next four years.

The next Senator from the 12th District must be ready to stand with the Senate Republicans as they oppose the fundamental transformation of our beloved state. The next Senator from the 12th District must be ready to say “no” to Obamacare expansion in Virginia, “no” to further encroachments on our fundamental rights, “no” to the inexorable growth of government.

The next Senator must be ready, willing and able to fight on behalf of the people of Hanover and Henrico for “a wise and frugal government” which will preserve our liberty, defend our rights, and “will not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

Because we need a Senator who will say yes to economic growth, better jobs, and higher take home pay for Virginians; and

Because we need a Senator who will say yes to less government spending and yes to less government regulation and red tapeand

Because we need Senator who will put the people first and will stand firm against the special interests and reckless government expansion 

For all of these reasons, I am announcing today that I am a candidate for the Republican nomination to be the next Senator from the 12th Senate District of Virginia.

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