Showing posts from September, 2007

Does Congressman Eric Cantor Represent Your Interests?

Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007 - Vote Passed (348-72, 12 Not Voting)

The House easily passed this bill that will give the Federal Housing Administration the authority to assist struggling homeowners in making their mortgage payments.

Rep. Eric Cantor voted NO

But, I guess Congressman Cantor and his wife (on the board of directors of Media General) haven't the problem of struggling to meet their house payments -- or identify with those in his district who are struggling.

“Representative Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican famous on K Street for his annual fund-raising weekends in Beverly Hills and South Beach, has recently invited lobbyists to join him for some expensive cups of coffee. A $2,500 contribution from a lobbyist’s political action committee entitles the company’s lobbyist to join Mr. Cantor at a Starbucks near his Capitol Hill office four times this spring.” New York Times February 11, 2007

The Politics of War

The junior Senator from Virginia and decorated war hero and former Secretary of the Navy, Jim Webb, introduced an amendment to H.R.1585 (To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.), with the purpose of specifying minimum periods between deployment of units and members of the Armed Forces deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

This amendment lost by a vote of 56 to 40 generally along party lines (a vote of 60 was required for passage).

The senior Senator from Virginia and previous Undersecretary of the Navy, John Warner, introduced a parallel amendment to express the sense of Congress on Department of Defense policy regarding dwell time.

This amendment lost by a vote of 55 to 45 generally along party lines.

Anyone following this legi…

In The Aftermath Of The Virginia Marriage Amendment

A year ago November the people of Virginia entered the voting booth and amended the state’s Bill of Rights to discriminate against the state’s gay population. The argument was that this was necessary and essential to protect the traditional family.

Yes, but what is a traditional family? Is this the traditional family?

Or is this the traditional family?

Or perhaps this – no, not until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.

But is this not a family?

Or this?

Or this?

It’s a funny thing how stereotypes can influence one’s bias isn’t it? Our state has a spectrum of people with all sorts of God given traits – but in a democracy, each person is supposedly equal under the law – and have an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, too many Virginians so cavalierly dismiss this notion – even many people of color and women who not so long ago faced a bias themselves.

The follow…

Is There Going To Be A New Sheriff In Town?

There are a lot of rumors and allegations and some facts blowing around Chesterfield County in Virginia about the local Sheriff’s Department. Suicides in the jail (one recent one that seems to have been suspiciously underreported), a mistakenly released criminal serving a 20-year sentence, use of prisoners to do yard work and other chores for a sheriff’s relatives (apparently documented). But the most pervasive charge is that the department is full of cronyism, and jobs and promotions are routinely handed out based on patronage and not necessarily on qualifications.

But a stranger just rode into town and he is challenging this status quo. He is Perry Demay and he is just possibly going to clean house with his commitment to bringing about a fair and impartial professionalism, based on fair recruitment and promotion, better training, and accountability to the citizens of the county. No arrogance, no pomposity, no sense of entitlement.

Mr. DeMay is challenging the incumbent County Sher…

Chesterfield County At A Political Crossroads?

In the 400 years since a European first set foot on what would become Chesterfield County, Virginia, and in the 230 odd years since Virginia joined in this experiment in democracy, and in the 140 odd years since our Civil War, one might suppose that some sort of reasonably effective progressive movement might arise out of what is now a population of over 300,000. But alas, it hasn’t. The rather stuffy but tenacious Republican Party holds firm reins over the county as some sort of entitlement, controlling all five supervisor seats and filling most of the county’s policy and management positions. With an election coming up in less than two months, is there a change in the wind?

All five supervisor seats are up for grabs -- is there a chance that at least three will turn Democratic? Well the Democratic Party was only able to field candidates for three of the five supervisor seats so they would have to have a sweep to do so. Bermuda District has an increasingly impressive candidate in…