GOVERNMENT + POLITICS

What would a nonpartisan approach to redistricting look like? Still not great for Republicans

BY: - September 7, 2018

Republicans in the House of Delegates reacted with outrage to Democrats’ redistricting proposal last week, arguing it would essentially hand the party five seats currently held by Republicans. “This was clearly a nakedly partisan move across the board – no question about that,” said House Majority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert. His party is currently holding […]

Republican PAC puts improperly released personnel records to use in new ad

BY: - September 6, 2018

Information about Democratic congressional candidate Abigail Spanberger found in improperly released federal personnel records is the focus of a new TV ad. The Congressional Leadership Fund works to get Republicans elected and released five new ads Thursday targeting Democratic candidates in Illinois, New Jersey and California, as well as Spanberger. The ad took aim at […]

Independent congressional candidate Shaun Brown outside the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond on Sept. 5, 2018. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Congressional candidate removed from ballot in case that exposes gaps in state oversight

BY: - September 5, 2018

Shaun Brown, an independent running to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the eastern part of the state, will be removed from the ballot, a judge in Richmond Circuit Court ruled Wednesday. Lawyers for the Virginia Democratic Party asked the court to take remove her because the petitions she submitted to run as an independent […]

Herring goes after Purdue for pushing opioids into Virginia

BY: - September 5, 2018

Between 2008 and 2017, Purdue Pharma pumped opioids into Virginia, lying about the highly addictive quality of the prescription painkillers that have resulted in a seemingly unstoppable opioid epidemic, Attorney General Mark Herring claims. Herring filed a complaint against Purdue in the Circuit Court of Tazewell County early this morning, updating a lawsuit initially filed […]

Virginia may be great for businesses, but a new report says it’s terrible for workers

BY: - September 5, 2018

Virginia leaders have long trumpeted the state’s high rankings in lists of states that are good for businesses. Over Labor Day weekend, the state landed on the wrong end of a different kind of list: The best states for workers. Virginia ranked dead last in the report by Oxfam, a left-leaning charity focused on fighting […]

Caroline County Virginia soybean field

‘I’d prefer they just stay out of it:’ Virginia farmers caught in the middle of trade war

BY: - September 5, 2018

Even as the trade war between the United States and China threatens to dramatically drive down the price of the nation’s top agricultural export, many Virginia soybean farmers are adopting a cautious stance of “wait and see.” “We’re hearing from some farmers that are understandably very upset with the administration because it is affecting the […]

24/7 vigilance, a live-in lawyer and embracing activism: two months of claiming sanctuary in a Richmond church’s basement

BY: - September 4, 2018

A knock on the locked church doors prompts an unexpected line of interrogation from a congregation member inside: ‘”Who are you? Why are you here?” It’s hard to hear through the heavy glass and the tone is surprisingly tense for a sunny afternoon on a quiet street outside a house of worship. The door eventually […]

The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

Court says Republicans have to meet Oct. 30 map-redrawing deadline

BY: - August 31, 2018

A three-judge panel rejected Virginia House Republicans’ request to stay the Oct. 31 deadline to redraw 11 racially gerrymandered voting districts until the U.S. Supreme Court gets to the case. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the requested in a Thursday order after the General Assembly convened for a Special […]

COMMENTARY

Two visions in conflict

BY: - August 31, 2018

If you step on it, you can drive from the Atlantic Ocean to Nelson County, Va., in about three hours. In the not-too-distant future, you could be able to make the trip in a lot less time. That’s not because we’ll have flying cars or frictionless roads, or because Great Birnam Wood is moving to […]

The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

Advocates: As long as redistricting is in the legislature’s hands, partisan squabbling will be the result

BY: - August 30, 2018

They came, they argued, they called each other names and didn’t agree on a new map. Democrats put forward a map to to fix unconstitutionally-drawn voting districts, though lawmakers on both sides called it a political power grab and a hypocritical response to Republican gerrymandering, among other critiques lodged against the proposal during the first […]

Dominion keeps raking in excess profit

BY: - August 30, 2018

Former journalist and veteran lobbyist Steve Haner, writing at Bacon’s Rebellion, has a good look at the yearly report the State Corporation Commission has done documenting the hundreds of millions of dollars in utility “overearning” since the Virginia General Assembly prevented it from lowering utility base rates in 2015 (the so-called rate freeze). The unsurprising […]

Explained: What went wrong with the 11 disputed House Districts, including a Republican delegate’s ‘murky recollection’ in court

BY: - August 30, 2018

Everyone knows the short version at this point: A panel of federal judges ruled that the General Assembly illegally packed black voters into 11 House of Delegates’ districts and has ordered lawmakers to redraw them, a process that’s beginning today. But the long version is a bit more nuanced and involves two important protections for […]