Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Telling It Like It Is

The oft-misleading architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, who banked on the "stupidity of the American voter", is back in the news for *SHOCKER* having said in 2009 what opponents of the law have been saying ever since...

"There are no cost controls in these proposals," Gruber goes on, "Why should we hold...people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs,"

At this point there should have been some thoughts by someone, by anyone involved like "what about the integrity of one of the largest healthcare networks the world has ever seen?" Or "what about the responsibility of America's government to its people to be honest?", the list goes on. Such trivialities fall by the wayside when someone's Presidential legacy is tied to one boondoggle of a bill, I suppose. 

Gruber knew. The President knew. Democrat Leadership knew. Congresswoman Pelosi, it passed, and now you know what's in it, or more precisely, what is not. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Obamacare Pulls Rug From Under Medicaid Providers

On January 1, 2015, many Medicaid patients will find that their doctors cannot afford to keep their care up anymore. The reason? The ACA's cost-cutting sunset passes at Midnight December 31st.

A study by the liberal Urban Institute has estimated that in Virginia, payments to doctors that cover Medicaid patients are expected to drop 28.1%. That gap is considerable, and could cost Medicaid recipients here their physician if the federal government's reimbursement rate does not allow them to continue accepting Medicaid patients. Compared with the expected national average of 47%, though, Virginia's doctors look lucky. Thirty eight other states' Medicaid networks will feel an even more significant hit than us. Columnist Robert Pear wrote an article in Saturday's New York Times on the coming problem, which can be read here.

What's worse, these doctors, who had assumed that their reimbursement rates could only be cut to the point of making Medicaid care unfeasible, are finding that the cuts imply a much deeper problem. The Obama Administration's assertion that doctors are not even eligible to sue the government to enforce its own policies is even more unsettling. Originally, the government could not lower their reimbursement rates to the point of forcing doctors and entire geographic areas out of the Medicaid network, which these cuts threaten to do. The Administration has told the Supreme Court that doctors have no grounds sue the government to enforce that rule.

The Obama Administration's actions amount to a monumental bait and switch routine. Obamacare pushes through massive spending to expand Medicaid rolls beyond reason, and then pulls the massive spending that fuels the expansion, leaving doctors holding the bag, and patients on the street.

VA GOP Caucus

Monday, November 17, 2014

Murphy's Law Revisited

So, Kathleen Murphy is running in the 34th District.

The reactions have been...well...predictable:

You may remember Ms. Murphy from such classics as: 

With no one to challenge her in her own party, Murphy, a member of 2013's "Little League" of Democrat House candidates, will go head-to-head with Republican businessman Craig Parisot in the 34th House District, vacated by Congresswoman-Elect Barbara Comstock. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School System Flunks Obamacare

This report, running in several local papers around the Roanoke area, is more evidence of the cost-heavy nature of Obamacare.

Roanoke City Public Schools are now forced to outsource their substitute teachers just to avoid over $150,000 in new healthcare costs mandated by Obamacare. The ACA's 30-hours per week requirement will likely be very problematic for other school systems as well in this regard. Many financially stressed local systems will be asked to decide between absorbing the high cost of insuring employees who may or may not even cross that line, and other options like privatization or actually cutting jobs.

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, October 17, 2014

Only Mark Warner Could Afford to Re-elect Mark Warner

"I will work to ensure that any final rule provides Virginia with adequate flexibility, enhances innovation and R&D in clean coal, and ensures that we maintain a safe and reliable energy network to power a competitive economy.” 

What a joke.

Recently, the State Corporation Commission released a statement outlining just what the new EPA regulations will mean to the average Virginian. The not good. Those regulations, against which Senator Warner promised to represent us, will still require the shuttering of many power plants in Virginia, reducing efficiency and raising costs astronomically.  

The EPA predicts that Virginia utilities will have to shut down power plants reliably producing 2,851 megawatts of electricity, and replace that generation with just 351 megawatts of wind power. For example, complying with the rules would likely cost Dominion Virginia Power customers alone an extra $5.5 billion to $6 billion. 

Taking the low-ball estimate that is an extra $665.82 charged to every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth. ($5.5 Billion divided into 8,260,405, Virginia's current population)

The question right now is "Can you or I afford to take Mark Warner at his word again?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Silence is Deafening

“I never could have envisioned ... the absolute, I thought, despicable moves by a former Democratic senator, Phil Puckett, who resigned,”
-Governor Terry McAuliffe

"Virginians deserve leaders who will fight for what's best for their constituents, not those who are spending their time concocting backroom deals and cover-ups"

-Democratic Party of Virginia

"It's astounding to me...They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator."
-Delegate Scott Surovell

Where is the outrage now? Where are the calls for resignation now? Where is the federal investigation now? Clearly, the only "ethics" Dems really care about are winning and the party line. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Didn't Have to Happen

There have been new mudballs slung from the left that Virginia Republicans are to blame for 250,000 Virginians losing their healthcare (actually because of Obamacare regulations) this fall. The accusers now find themselves in a bit of hot water.

Why, you ask?

Well the fact is that Virginia Republicans in the House of Delegates passed a measure that could have averted this entire fiasco all the way back in the 2014 regular session. When it got to the Senate, however, a Democrat-chaired Committee (former Majority Leader Saslaw, if you were wondering) struck the bill down on a block vote...

So when that fateful letter arrives at the door, it won't be just thanks to federal rubberstamping. You should know that Senate Dems, when given the chance, laid the solution on the table indefinitely.

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, October 10, 2014

DCCC Abandons Comstock's Opponent

Could there be trouble in Liberal Paradise? The Washington Post is reporting this morning that the DCCC is pulling nearly three million dollars in advertising funding from Barbara Comstock's opponent John Foust.
And THIS, children, is the DCCC's view of the Foust Campaign

Apparently there are bigger holes in the dam for that money to plug. The three million will be going to help protect freshman incumbent Ami Bera in CA-7. Pretty disheartening news for the left, but if Dems can't protect their incumbents then an open seat with a strong Republican opponent is no place to take a stand.

Sorry Johnny...

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, September 12, 2014

First Do No Harm

-President Barack Obama, 2010
Winner-Politifact "Lie of the Year", 2013

Now a quarter of a million Virginians will soon be informed that they will not. This report from Charlottesville NBC29 yesterday on a recent meeting of the Virginia Health Insurance Reform Board details why. 

Per NBC: 
"Some employers and individuals have already received notices saying their plans will end. Those yet to receive the notification letters will be offered the most similar alternative for a plan or they can shop around inside or outside the federal exchange."
"The most similar." What a soft, doublespeaking way of breaking it that rates are going up. 

Who will feel the hit? Why, the original targets of Obamacare, of course. The young, the middle class, and the elderly can all expect rate hikes, and not the insignificant 2-5% that was already forecast. We are going to be talking high double digits, and more in some cases. 

Obamacare is doing the opposite of making healthcare affordable. 
The reason that the government wants these plans gone is that they are not comprehensive enough for Obamacare's cookie-cutter vision of what you need. With added coverage must come added premiums to offset the risk to the insurance companies. With higher premiums come higher deductibles, some in the thousands of dollars. Those costs will deter even more people without disposable income from seeking medical assistance. 

VA GOP Caucus

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Foust Continues to Fumble

Never, I repeat NEVER, get yourself embroiled in conflict-of-interest; much less ADVERTISE IT!

Honestly, folks, if you haven't heard by now, John Foust, a sitting Fairfax County Supervisor (and a tax raising one at that) used the Government Center as the setting for a campaign ad. I would link it, but I don't want to put up anything questionably illegal.

Are the people in the background employees of the county? Did they get a choice whether or not to be in it? If they did, would they feel uncomfortable saying "no" while being charged by a sitting Supervisor and a film crew? The list of questions goes on. But why? 

Political use of government resources is such a widely agreed-upon issue that the General Assembly passed a law requiring localities to address it.

All that post-production time and NOBODY on the Foust team gets the bright idea...
"Waaaaiiiit a minute. Shouldn't campaigns and sitting government be separated?" 

Though it does raise an interesting point. How can governing as a job be the centerpiece of Foust's ad, yet, somehow Barbara Comstock, a sitting state delegate, has "never had a real job"?

Come on, John. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

No ROI for Big McAuliffe Donors

Gov. McAuliffe's endorsement of the 550-mile Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline has drawn 'Hosana's' from many unfamiliar places, but has he overplayed his hand just a little bit? Is he just keeping his finger on the pulse? This initiative will bring jobs where they are desperately needed, and garner him some rapport with the mostly red legislature. But...

Guess which state based environmental group constitutes McAuliffe's 3rd highest donation totals since 2012? They have put down over one and a half million dollars to get this man elected.

Gosh, I sure hope he doesn't anger any influential one-issue billionaires who also took a huge seven figure stake in his win....

But to be sure, at least some have been able to get on Terry's team. 

Let's hear statements about the Atlantic Coast pipeline:

Delegate Mark Sickles[Former Minority Caucus Chairman] 
“Good family-wage construction jobs in the short term will lead to lower heating bills, a reduced carbon footprint and permanent manufacturing jobs in the long term...Congratulations to all who worked so hard to win against four competing alternatives and good luck...[making] the underground natural gas pipeline a reality.”
(didn't see that one coming, but happy you've come around sir)

Tom Steyer (per WaPo, NextGen PAC could not be reached for comment) 

Per RPV Chairman Pat Mullins: 
"Given the Governor's new-found interest in working with the energy sector, I'm forced to wonder if the environmental movement has a home in the Virginia Democrat party any more."

He may have a point. This surely constitutes a huge fly in the organic vegan ointment, so to speak. 

VA GOP Caucus

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

As the World Turns: McAuliffe Endorses Fracking and ALEC

Earlier today, the Speaker of the House released a statement applauding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. By using a process known as hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking', the Marcellus and Utica shales will produce upwards of 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas for Virginia and North Carolina.

It is encouraging to see the Governor support this 'game-changer' of a project and the benefits that natural gas/fracking can have for the Commonwealth and its citizens. Also, his endorsement of an ALEC initiative is a hat-tipper that deserves a round of applause...but he probably won't get it from his main supporters.

P.S. Senator Saslaw is also a supporter of the proposed pipeline. 

The full press release is below.

Statement of House Speaker William J. Howell on proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) issued the following statement Tuesday on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced by Dominion and its partners. For more information on the announcement, please click here. 

“This announcement is tremendous news for the Commonwealth of Virginia and represents a major step forward in our continued pursuit to harvest abundant natural resources in order to lower energy costs and create good-paying jobs. Natural gas is an abundant, clean, and affordable resource and this pipeline will improve Virginia’s access to natural gas supplies from the Upper Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. The development and construction of the pipeline will create thousands of jobs throughout various regions of the Commonwealth and encourage economic development by keeping energy costs down for Virginia businesses and entrepreneurs. I applaud and thank Dominion for its continued investment and commitment to strengthening our economy.

“I also applaud Governor Terry McAuliffe for his enthusiastic support of this project, despite fierce opposition from many allies of his own party. Natural gas production and infrastructure development, as well as domestic energy production altogether, continues to be a major initiative of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is encouraging to see Governor McAuliffe’s endorsement of those policies and their positive impacts.”

#  #  #

Friday, August 29, 2014

13.29 Million Dollars

Northern Virginia is now playing the unwitting host to (with one exception) the most unaccompanied alien "children" in the entire country.

Why would Governor McAuliffe welcome more people with open arms just as we brace for a steep budget shortfall? And after Virginia's counties alone have posted 15 billion dollars of unfunded debt.

Who is lining up to pay for the education, housing, food, and medical care for more than 2,000 people that the Feds shuttled here? They are already classified as 'homeless' in Prince William. The status provides a convenient out to all of those pesky medical requirements that they would otherwise have to go through to enter the school system (like vaccinations).

Dont worry say the Dems. We don't know what we are going to do, how we are going to pay for it, or where we are going to put them; but don't worry. Don't worry about the budget shortfall. Don't worry about how Fairfax County, with already almost 4 Billion (WITH A B) dollars in unfunded debt will pay for over 1,000 new students at a cost of $13,000/child/year.

The real message: Whatever you do, don't worry, and vote Democrat.

VA GOP Caucus

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Rasmussen just released this poll. The long and the short of it is...people are fine with Voter ID laws(74%). Further, the people have been fine with Voter ID laws(71% a year ago), and the trend is that more people are coming to that conclusion.

VA GOP Caucus

Voters Reject Saslaw, McEachin

Yesterday, the people of Southwest Virginia voted overwhelmingly to keep Ben Chafin in Richmond, this time as their next State Senator for the 38th District. The real story is that Chafin won despite this potentially being the most expensive special election ever in Virginia.

Senate Democratic Caucus spent over half a million dollars to mold Hymes carefully to Senators' Saslaw and McEachin's specifications. True, it takes a special kind of Democrat to win down there. Dems tried, with slapstick subtlety, to portray Hymes as pro-gun. Oh, the irony. Of course that flew like a lead balloon.

The whole thing kind of plays out like 'She's All That' but without the happy ending or Freddie Prinze, Jr. I mean the guy didn't even win his own old supervisor district.

Not that we here are losing any sleep over VSDC and DPVA's misfortunes. Congratulations are certainly due to Chafin. His win comes despite having to put up with misinformation campaigns, a laughably un-factual attack ad, and the ire of just about every Dem blogger and activist from Arlington to Abingdon.

You mean to tell me that running a liberal in SWVA, falling in line behind Governor McAuliffe on Medicaid expansion, lying about your views on the 2nd Amendment, and having your one notable ad proven false doesn't win elections?


VA GOP Caucus

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Edge of Tomorrow

Tomorrow, an inordinately important election is going to be held in Southwest Virginia, between Delegate Ben Chafin and Mike Hymes. Let's take a look at our candidates, a sitting legislator or.....

What about a guy that straight-up lied about his opponent and then got caught? 

What are you going to find out that he supports next, if he wins this seat? 

Time is running short. Let's help keep this guy out of Richmond, and help the right candidate win in SWVA; Delegate Ben Chafin.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Eating Crow on Voter Fraud

There is definitely something in this story that I can relate to. For the life of me, I can't put my finger on it...

OH, wait. Now, voter fraud isn't a myth when it becomes an issue for powerful Democrats?  As expected, there is plenty of crow to go around. Several have even come forward to try to disqualify their party-mate's own assertions.

It didn't take long for cries to emerge, "BUT this wasn't a state election! This was OUR primary!"

Well, YOUR primary election is under investigation for fraud, and no amount of rhetorical somersaults is going to change that.

It is being taken up in many circles that this was also a firehouse primary, and doesn't bear parliamentary symmetry with general elections run by SBE. That makes no difference when, for years, the Democrat line on voter fraud is that it is imaginary.

So go ahead, try to make this about abortion or Medicaid. This river of comeuppance will not be so easy to misdirect. I wonder what Joe Morrissey is going to think when he has the time to read this...

VA GOP Caucus

Monday, August 11, 2014

Liberal Bible Leads Charge to SWVA

The upcoming Senate race in the 38th has huge implications for control of the Senate, and the continued debate over Obamacare expansion. In that vein, the Progressive Left has come to mine SWVA for votes. This is hilarious in and of itself. Usually they only mention the area to knock coal or the Second Amendment. Now that something they want is on the ground in coal country, that line has changed.

"I'm posting [this] video of Mike Hymes not because I'm a big fan of his views on coal and the Second Amendment (to put it mildly, I'm not), but because that special election on August 19 will determine which party controls the Virginia State Senate.",  August 10, 2014

He can't even look genuinely interested....
If Senators Saslaw, Favola, McEachin, and Howell are allowed to run the show, Southwest will continue to suffer. 

The Left's...pre-occupation with Obamacare has progressed to a neurosis.

Our advice to Dems: try not to be spiteful when you re-abandon the area on August 20.

VA GOP Caucus

Monday, August 4, 2014

RTD Opinion: Will Foust Force this on Physicians?

An editorial published in this weekend's Richmond Times Dispatch hits squarely on the head the true problem with Obamacare; which is not what is written in the law, but what is not. 

If Obamacare is left on the books, what is the logical progression from requiring insurance companies to cover patients through Medicaid? Forcing doctors, many of whom don't accept Medicaid, into taking 

One such doctor, Dr. Marilyn Jerome, is the wife of John Foust, the Ds' candidate in the GOP favorable 10th.

What is Supervisor Foust going to say when the law goes forward and forces his wife's practice into a fiscal corner? Will he be there then to support a full socialization of one of the largest sections of our economy? 

Bart Hinkle, in the original RTD editorial puts it best: 

"Treating private enterprise as a conscript in service to the State is a philosophy with an ugly lineage. In liberal democracies, government is supposed to be the servant — not the master. In health care, however, the relationship is growing increasingly inverted. As a result individuals are forced to buy insurance, and insurance companies are forced to accept them. Now many people want to force drug companies to cut prices. And so on.

Forcing doctors to accept Medicaid patients would be an obvious, logical extension of these trends. If insurance companies can’t turn people away, then why should physicians be allowed to? If drug companies can’t charge more than people can afford, then why should doctors? So far, no elected officials have yet proposed reining in the limited liberty that doctors still enjoy. But such proposals could very well come, one of these days. Though probably not from John Foust."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mark Warner Looks Down on his Constituents

So this broke recently. The richest man in the U.S. Senate, who also happens to work and live in a DC adjacent state, spent over 30 grand of taxpayer money flying to Southwest Virginia.

"I spent about THIS much, to fly about THIS far,"
I would be remiss not to point out the irony of a wealthy, EPA-loving businessman from Northern Virginia flying a chartered jet to a hard hit, coal dependent area where unemployment hovers around 9% with the audacity to tell them that he is on their side.

The hard campaigning months of September and October are fast approaching. Will the gentleman from Virginia be jetsetting?

Be careful, your expectations for responsibility and common sense may have shifted during flight. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Obamacare's Architect Explains Why Halbig Matters

The below video, retrieved from Forbes, shows precisely why the 3rd Circuit Court's decision supports the states, and the man below, Obamacare's chief architect...

What you really need to hear starts at 31:25 where this gentleman, Jonathan Gruber, who was the architect of the law, explains the political reasons for which it was structured to put the burden on the states. The problem being that these states did not, and indeed could not, institute this boondoggle themselves, and therefore serve as shining examples of how this law is utterly unsustainable.

This is at the heart of the Halbig vs Burwell ruling made by the DC 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recently. The court correctly read the bill's language, which dictates money to flow only to states with their necks already on the block, so to speak, with their own healthcare exchanges.

What do the administration, or this law's proponents do when faced with a big heaping plate of their own words?

Just stick their fingers in their ears and pretend that they did not say them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Big Blow to Obamacare by Obamacare

Today, a ruling came down from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that condemns Obamacare subsidies to states that do not have their own health exchanges, which constitutes the vast majority. These subsidies were originally Obamacare's "big stick" that would be used to "motivate" states to set up their own exchanges  rather than falling back on

And why wouldn't they, when Arkansas and Indiana are having such an easy time of it, right?

Please; both the "private option", and state exchanges are turning into fiscal and political anchors for those who are implementing them. And where do the huddled masses turn? Because, unlike the states, when Obama saw the boondoggle that was the federal website, he decided to keep digging until he saw daylight.

President Obama, when he first sold these state exchanges to loyalist Dem governors, knew that he was placing an anvil of debt on the reluctant backs of these states. Now, when they shake them off, dependence on the Federal exchange is nearly ubiquitous; leading us farther and farther down the road to ruin. That is how these cases got to court. But the provisions of the law are clear; the subsidies are meant to go to state exchanges.

I guess it's just no one's fault that barely any states can afford to keep them open?

VA GOP Caucus

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sickles: Way Off

"I quintupled the number?! Oh Dear..."
In his never-ending quest for a narrative to sell Medicaid Expansion to Virginia, Mark Sickles got some serious wires crossed. When the beleagured Delegate claimed that a full 30% of the state's Medicaid
costs go to seniors in nursing care, Politifact flatly rated his statement false. Reminder: this guy sits on the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee...

Let's keep our numbers within the realm of the believable, shall we? The fact is that hardly over 2% of Medicaid recipients are in nursing care, and they use less than 10% of the funds. 

Not only does that number fail to strengthen Sickles' argument, it strengthens the argument that we should be wary of expansion. When the 2% of patients in nursing homes becomes 4%, or 6%, what will happen to their 10% share of the budget pie?

VA GOP Caucus

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is John Foust the Only Democrat in his Family?

It would appear that the Foust household can (at least halfway) agree with Virginia Republicans on one issue. Dr. Marilyn Jerome, Supervisor Foust's wife, was recently outed over her Ob. Gyn. clinic's choice not to take patients with Medicaid, Obamacare's chief vehicle at the state level.

Now, I really have no problem with that. There are numerous, very sensible reasons that a business would not want to rely on the government for payment. There is mountainous red tape to deal with, and after that it is still sometimes doubtful whether you will get paid on time (if at all, in some cases).

The problem with that, though, is this....

That is ripped DIRECTLY from one of Supervisor Foust's press releases. 

What gives? Obamacare is only super great as long as we don't have to treat these people? It just goes to show how in touch John Foust is with the healthcare debate. He can't even win it at home. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Delivers Sick Joke in Danville

Governor McAuliffe showed nothing if not boldness yesterday when he stood up and promised that workforce development would be his number 1 priority for the Pittsylvania/Danville area at a rally in Danville. What is so audacious about that?

Backtrack to 2009. Terry McAuliffe (then-Chairman of GreenTech Automotive after being clobbered in the gubernatorial primary) was scheduled to tour sites for an automotive plant that the Virginia government (under Gov. Kaine) had helped find and connect him with in Martinsville and Danville. The administration and McAuliffe's company had been discussing the plant for some time and hopes were high that then-just-Mr. McAuliffe would be able to bring his 1,500 jobs there, the most economically hard-hit areas of the Commonwealth.

There was only one rub; the EB-5 visa program, a money funnel near and dear to Terry's heart [read: wallet]. The program allows foreign nationals to buy their visas in return for investments in American businesses (three guesses as to which business). When officials expressed concerns, Terry legitimately stood us up. GreenTech cancelled the day before and announced their new plant in Mississippi to investors.

If workforce development is your priority, if "we are all in this together", if you are a savvy businessman who cares about Virginia, then why does every single solitary shred of evidence build further the case against that? You have the cheek to come to a place that you snubbed, to tell people that you betrayed, that you want to bring them jobs? The Governor was given a golden opportunity to bring jobs here, and he sold us out for a tax break.

VA GOP Caucus

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Veto Heard 'Round the Commonwealth

Last year if Democrats were not trying in vain to sell Obamacare, they were pouring out self-righteous indignation at Republicans over ethics reform. This culminated somehow in the election of a life-long operative and fundraiser to the most powerful discretionary position in the state. Don't ask me to explain. Now, that man (gasp!) is standing in the way of ethics reform.  WHAT  DID I SAY WOULD HAPPEN?!

Governor McAuliffe, this morning vetoed a bi-partisan ethics bill from Delegates LeMunyon and Surovell that would have applied directly to him. The bill would have prohibited him from accepting gifts over 50 dollars from businesses or individuals seeking funds from his Governor's Development Opportunity Fund. 

The Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund is used to provide grants and loans to businesses to relocate to Virginia or expand in the state. Basically, a Governor has the power to use that money however he sees fit to attract businesses to the Commonwealth. The Governor has broad discretion in making awards, and awards are made without competitive bidding. Speaker Howell: "This legislation was a key part of the General Assembly's efforts to strengthen and improve Virginia's ethics, transparency and disclosure laws."

McAuliffe's reasoning for the veto? If I have to do it, then shouldn't the legislature too? Well, no. See, you're the only one with power over the 35 million dollars of carte blanche taxpayer money that this applies to. The legislature is not in charge of awarding these grants. In McAuliffe's own words "The Governor awards grants from the GOF..."

Brian Coy, the Governor's mouthpiece, had this to say about his boss' decision: "Speaker Howell’s professed concern for transparency and accountability would be more convincing had he and his leadership not implored the governor to sign an ethics reform bill that fell woefully short of the standard the governor applied to himself, his family and the executive branch." 

1. What does this even mean? 
2. This (HB1212/SB650) BI-PARTISAN legislation regarding TAXPAYER MONEY was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate. 

The only thing that became more transparent today were the true feelings of the Governor when it comes to ethics reform. 

VA GOP Caucus

Thursday, May 22, 2014

BREAKING: 99% of Virginians Support Medicaid Expansion

Makes a nice attention grabber, but you have no particular reason to believe those numbers do you? No.

A ploy for readers is one thing, but in reality Governor McAuliffe really has been searching high and low for someone, anyone, who will tell him what he wants to hear about Medicaid; and what he got was as good as anyone could do, given reality. Murky at best, and a heaping disappointment at heart.

Common Good Virginia PAC(Terry's own) sponsored a poll on Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion that showed 52% support the measure. Shocking. Terry McAuliffe, whose PAC is unashamedly selling access RIGHT NOW, is now trying to buy approval.

But the real story is that number. 52% is a slim margin, and as soon as it leaked, the Administration was stumbling over itself to try to keep the genie in the bottle, to no avail. Michael Martz of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports; full article here.

"But, wait! 52% is a majority!" said the imaginary devil's advocate. Well, fine. But where did that number come from? What makes it pitiful is that the total is probably very massaged. A convenient, Democrat-leaning sample, left-leading question formation, and and the obvious implication that the PAC paying for the poll wanted to hear what they wanted to hear are all factors. For all that, 2%? The memo referenced in the article didn't even call it a majority.

RPV Chairman Pat Mullins: “If I was going to buy a poll to back my position on a public policy issue, I’d at least pay for 60 percent of people to agree with me.” 

You will notice that last month's CNU poll showing 53% of Virginians oppose expansion. While controversial, it was at least independent. Democrats backflipped in anger over that one, regardless. So, I will be interested to see who cherry picks this new number for their talking points and conveniently "forgets" to mention the context in which it was bought.

VA GOP Caucus

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jonesing for Some Cash

The major deal, that has the potential to lift DPVA out of crushing debt(who'd've thunk it?), could also be put in textbooks nationwide as a per se example of conflict of interest. Further down the dirty road, the money to buy DPVA HQ will be coming directly from the taxpayers.

"Why," the aforementioned taxpayer may ask, "is this situation so unexplainably intertwined?"

The Mayor/DPVA Chairman has been refusing interviews about any involvement in Richmond buying DPVA headquarters, even though there is a supposed "firewall" between he and the negotiations. Why so reticent?

Because Mayor/Chairman Jones is a person, not a computer virus. There really is no way to fully separate him from this. Jones LEADS both of the participants in this deal. He is the man on the line when it comes to the financial health (or lack thereof) of his party, and the fiscal responsibility of his city; and whether he is in the meeting room or not, the results will tend toward the same.  

Wouldn't you just want to bet that the bid to buy DPVA HQ will beat the median offer, and take a speedy trip through their hands to put a dent in that (again) CRUSHING debt. 600k is not a petty, ignorable amount, and they likely see this as a way to make it disappear overnight. How very convenient....

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Poll: McAuliffe's Medicaid "Mandate" is Imaginary

The new numbers show that support for Governor McAuliffe's hostage-style budget stand off over Medicaid is flying like a rock. Among Virginia's Independents there has been a complete reversal of opinion since February (from 55 support/39 oppose to 35 support/55 oppose according to CNU).

This spring has given folks time to think about the millions and millions of dollars that Obamacare Expansion will end up costing them, and time to decide that they don't want it. Read the article here, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jim Nolan.

VA GOP Caucus

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sen's Lucas and Howell, We are With You

The face of care and compassion
If I said Sean Connaughton's re-entry into Virginia politics was divisive, well, I would be wrong. Seemingly we can all look at one another in agreed shock. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) last week made a questionable choice on their new executive director position.

It is not often that this blog comes to stand with Senate Dems, but Senators Howell and Lucas both contributed to this Washington Post article by Laura Vozzella with their (well founded) doubts about Mr. Connaughton's supposed role at the VHHA.

Rather than defer to a doctor, hospital administrator, or public figure dedicated to healthcare, they chose a divisive former port director and transportation administrator?

"But," said (figuratively) everyone, "But, really? Him?"

Monday, March 31, 2014

Strongest Ally Backs Off

Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal released a letter two days ago, urging the Governor and Democrats to pass the biennial budget without continuing the hostage scenario that they have started over Medicaid expansion.

The letter flatly states that the straight-up Medicaid expansion (Marketplace Virginia is now off the table) does not have the Chamber's support, and that the program is in need of serious reform before any expansion takes place. In other words, it's what Republicans have been shouting from the mountaintops.

Without the Chamber's support, the Governor's public backing for this full-steam-ahead approach to Obamacare expansion is getting less and less popular by the day. Already more than 50 localities representing over 3.8 million people, and numerous organizations have asked Governor McAuliffe to de-couple Medicaid expansion and pass a clean budget. How long until he (and Democrats) listen to the people?

VA GOP Caucus

Four Percent

"Virginians, who twice voted to send Obama to the White House, disapprove of the job he is doing 52 percent to 44 percent. They oppose the Affordable Care Act, the health-care law known informally as Obamacare, by an identical margin at a time when state budget negotiations are deadlocked over whether to expand Medicaid under the law.  
“President Obama’s support in Virginia, which he narrowly carried in his reelection, remains stuck in negative territory, with his 58-36 percent disapproval among independent voters the big reason why,” Brown said. “Interestingly, Virginian voters say 33 to 15 percent they would be less likely rather than more likely to vote for Warner if President Barack Obama campaigns for him.”   Article linked here
If Virginians opposed the job the President is doing because of the mess that is Obamacare, it doesn't take a genius to figure out their feelings on Medicaid expansion.

So, what's up guys? Why are Dems still standing in the way of doing the responsible thing, revisiting this issue after we have taken the budget off of the bargaining table. Maybe their priorities should be a little closer to those of their constituents? Because only 4 percent of them think that this should even be an issue. Just see below from last week's Washington Times as well.
"Just 4 percent of Virginia voters think the top priority of Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly should be Medicaid — an issue that has paralyzed the budget process... A [Quinnipiac] survey shows Medicaid trails unemployment, education and the economy as issues on which respondents think the Democratic governor and lawmakers should primarily be focused. 
Mr. McAuliffe, who called lawmakers back to Richmond after they were unable to resolve the issue during their 60-day legislative session, on Wednesday blamed the ongoing standoff on leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates." 
 Article linked here
So you try to hostage your way against the people using the budget to force through legislation that they don't want, and Republicans are the problem? Rich.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ken Plum Whines Because Dems Can't Answer Questions

Last night, House Democrats presented an amendment in the nature of a substitute to HB5002. [Read: they tried to replace the House budget with the Governor's VERY late budget]. By itself, sure, that is fine…However, they should've read it, or had someone read it to them, or at least been able to answer questions regarding it…ANYTHING.

Below is a video showing Ken Plum whining because he and his colleagues couldn't answer SIMPLE questions about the Governor's budget…that they wanted as a replacement.

…maybe this is why Ken Plum was removed from the Appropriations committee…

After Delegate Plum was done embarrassing himself, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones explained to him that Virginians deserve elected officials who will read legislation and who understand how their tax dollars are being spent…not just guesses…

Monday, March 24, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Should Heed Candidate McAuliffe

To begin with, please just watch the first 25 seconds of the video above. More and more and more times Terry McAuliffe promised us that there would never be a government shutdown in Virginia (his words) over Medicaid Expansion. Farther, he promised us as well that (at 0:50) a government shutdown would never happen under his administration. This must stop. The bullying, the hostage taking and the brinksmanship going on now over Medicaid Expansion has to stop. Virginia's budget must be decoupled from it and the threats associated with it. It is time for Governor McAuliffe to start listening to Candidate McAuliffe.

VA GOP Caucus

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Governor McAuliffe Changed his Tune on Shut Down

"Stop using 
the threat of a government shutdown as a bargaining chip in other negotiations, including over the health care 

- Terry McAuliffe's Letter to Congress (September 24, 2013)

Oh the times, how they change. Now he is threatening to hold Virginia's budget hostage simply to further expand Obamacare in Virginia. He is holding hostage the funding for our schools, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and local governments. Today's top opinion in the Richmond Times-Dispatch very clearly lays out exactly what is at stake here. 

Governor McAuliffe is perfectly willing to shut down Virginia's government if the mess that is Obamacare is not included in the budget. Sound a bit partisan? Sound hypocritical at all? It should. 

Governor McAuliffe needs to decouple the further expansion of Obamacare to ensure funding for schools, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and local governments.