John Cole

John Cole

John Cole's political cartoons on Virginia government and politics appear on the Virginia Mercury on Fridays. He is currently the staff cartoonist for the editorial pages of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, PA. Prior to this, he enjoyed a nearly 20-year run with The Herald-Sun in Durham, NC, where he developed an affection for the state, its people and its politics. His award-winning work is internationally syndicated by Cagle Cartoons.


Not so fast

By: - October 31, 2022

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “The state inspector general said Wednesday that he’ll investigate allegations regarding a state tourism contract for the political media firm that works with Gov. Glenn Youngkin. The administrative investigation will include examining whether the Virginia Tourism Corporation used an appropriate procurement process for selecting Richmond-based Poolhouse to create the video, said […]


The Washington Commoders

By: - October 24, 2022

From ESPN: “Why is Dan Snyder still an NFL team owner? And how has he managed to survive allegations of a toxic club culture, sexual harassment, accounting misdeeds and the bungling of a new stadium proposal that once seemed inevitable and is now met with hard resistance by the public and officials in Virginia, Maryland […]


Board of Elections

By: - October 18, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “‘It’s not a good time to be an election official right now,’ Olsen said as he publicly announced his departure. ‘And I think there’s legitimate fear about what could come down the road for people who are just trying to do their jobs.’ … Democratic [Board of Election member Keith Scarborough] […]


A wonderful place to visit?

By: - October 11, 2022

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Virginia House and Senate Democratic leaders sent a letter Thursday to a state oversight agency asking for an investigation of how the political media firm that works for Gov. Glenn Youngkin landed a $268,600 state contract in an unusual process with tight work deadlines and only one bidder.”


Threading the needle

By: - October 3, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “A permitting reform proposal by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin that would have required completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline was halted Tuesday. … The Manchin plan had drawn widespread rebuke from most Republicans, a few Senate Democrats including Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and a large group of […]


The real ‘rat’

By: - September 26, 2022

From The Washington Post: “Freshman enrollment at Virginia Military Institute has plummeted by 25 percent this year, prompting alarm and debate among officials and alumni about how to fix the problem. … For the past two years, the college has faced intense scrutiny over racism and sexism on its Lexington campus, fueling a public battle […]


Party favor

By: - September 19, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: Former Libertarian Party of Virginia Chair Holly Ward “said the disarray over the Libertarians’ status in Virginia is part of a bigger battle over the national party’s tone and focus. The resolution to dissolve the state party, which Ward says was approved [Sept. 11] in a 7-6-1 vote by the party’s […]


The stepping stone

By: - September 12, 2022

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Following Youngkin’s budget report Aug. 19 to the General Assembly money committees — remarks delivered seven months into his term but seemingly made with the 2024 presidential race in mind — [Senate Minority Leader Tommy] Norment publicly gave voice to what fellow Republican legislators have been saying privately: That Youngkin’s unofficial candidacy […]

Carbon footprint

By: - September 7, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration announced their newest plans for how they intend to withdraw Virginia from a regional carbon market Wednesday, a move critics say is not allowed by law, would drain important state programs of funding and would hurt the fight against climate change.”


Under new management

By: - August 30, 2022

From The New Yorker: “When private equity takes over a nursing home: After an investment firm bought St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged, in Richmond, Virginia, the company reduced staff, removed amenities, and set the stage for a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.”


Crossing the Delaware, 2022

By: - August 26, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Among Balow’s criticisms of the draft standards was their use of the word “succession” instead of “secession.” She also referenced the removal of the “Father of our Country” title for George Washington and “Father of the Constitution” title for James Madison, which the Department of Education has said was done in error.”


A hard lesson

By: - August 22, 2022

From the Virginia Mercury: “While the number of unfilled teaching slots across Virginia can change by the day and even by the hour as districts race to fill positions ahead of the 2022-23 school year, they likely number in the thousands, according to state data. Last October, the Virginia Department of Education’s staffing and vacancy […]