• Weekly Virginia GOP Address – Feb. 10, 2017

    — House GOP Budget opens door to much needed teacher pay increases  —

    Del. Tag Greason, R-Loudoun, delivered this week’s Virginia GOP Address.

     
    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, my name is Delegate Tag Greason and I represent the 32nd district in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes most of eastern Loudoun county. It is a privilege to serve in the House of Delegates as a member of the oldest continually operating legislature in the western hemisphere.

    “As you may know, this year is the year that the General Assembly amends our two-year state budget. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to say, we have been working hard to finalize our budget proposal.
    This past week, the House unveiled its budget proposal…a conservative, responsible, and structurally balanced budget that invests in the core functions of government, while protecting precious taxpayer resources. Our budget accomplishes all this, without any tax or fee increases.

    “We all want our children to have a high-quality education. That is why our budget makes significant investments into K-12 education. Our proposed funding exceeds the Governor’s investment by nearly 15 million dollars. We build on our plan from last year to re-establish the lottery proceeds distribution, which will send an additional $218 million back to localities, with no local match requirement. Our K-12 education budget provides localities with much needed flexibility and relief in providing for our children’s education….which could include the option for a much needed teacher pay raise.”

    “We have also made significant investments in higher education. Our budget continues our efforts to make college more affordable and accessible for all Virginia families. We are investing over $20 million more than Governor McAuliffe, to hold down tuition costs at Virginia’s public colleges and universities.”

    “We recognize that Virginia’s economy still lags behind the national average. Virginia needs good paying, private sector jobs, and a thriving economy. That is why our budget restores funds for strategic and targeted investments in economic development, while promoting increased accountability and legislative oversight.”

    “With the uncertainty of healthcare at the federal level, we have put in place several independent measures to strengthen our healthcare safety net here in the Commonwealth. We understand the importance of taking care of our neighbors, and that is why our budget includes nearly $29 million in new funding for substance abuse treatment, increasing eligibility for the GAP program, and creating additional DD waiver slots to address the critical waiting list.”

    “While we may have passed our version of the budget, we still have a long way to go. Now, House and Senate negotiators go in to conference to work out the differences. I encourage you to stay connected with your representatives throughout this process to have your voice heard. Government works best when its citizens are engaged and involved.”

    “I’m Del. Tag Greason. For the entire House GOP caucus, thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Perriello Outflanks Northam to the Left on Pipeline

    — What far-left policy position will Northam adopt next to strike back? —

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. Tom Perriello finally made a left turn that Ralph Northam can’t match.

    Just days after bringing former Bernie Sanders staffers onto his team, Perriello came out in opposition to two major Virginia energy security projects supported by Governor Terry McAuliffe — the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

    Perriello’s announcement puts Northam in an untenable situation. Either he repudiates Governor McAuliffe’s strong support for the pipelines and turns off much needed money and support from Virginia’s business community, or he stands up for the pipeline projects and alienates the ever-leftward leaning base of the Democrat party in Virginia.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “If flop sweat were votes, I have no doubt that Ralph Northam would have locked up the Democrat nomination for Governor today. Tom Perriello’s announcement is the worst possible news for Northam — it drives a definitive wedge between Northam and Governor McAuliffe.”

    “Does Ralph Northam stand for jobs, or does he stand for the Bernie Sanders far-left, radical environmentalist wing of the party? His response today was a case study in how to use a lot of words without saying anything. Northam said he supports science and property rights. That’s great. How about the pipelines?”

    “There’s only one way out for Ralph Northam — find his own wedge issue further to the left that will alienate Tom Perriello from the Bernie Sanders wing of his party. But having seen just how far left Tom Perriello is on policy, that might just be an impossible task.”

    “Pop some more popcorn folks, this is going to be a Democrat primary to remember!”

  • RPV Statement Celebrating Black History Month

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “This month we recognize the central role that African Americans have played in the life of our nation, and few if any states have been shaped by the contribution of African Americans more than Virginia. The story of Virginia simply cannot be told without the powerful contributions African Americans have made to our Commonwealth. ”

    “This month, Virginia Republicans will continue to focus on ensuring Virginians of all backgrounds can achieve their dreams. Whether it was the courage of Barbara Johns, the genius of George Washington Carver, the courage of the Tuskegee Airmen, or the moral leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Virginia Republicans are proud to celebrate the amazing contributions of African Americans to our shared national story all month long.”

  • RPV Statement on Supreme Court Nomination

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “President Trump has made an excellent decision in choosing Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. His pre-judicial service was exemplary, and his time on the 10th Circuit make it clear that Judge Gorsuch is dedicated to the same principles of original intent and strict construction as Justice Scalia.”

    “No one will ever replace Antonin Scalia on the bench, but Judge Gorsuch will make a fine and worthy successor. I congratulated Judge Gorsuch on his nomination, and look forward to seeing him confirmed by the Senate.”

  • The ACLU of Virginia Wants Inmates to Vote. Do Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam Agree?

    — Only two states, Vermont and Maine, allow felony inmates to vote —

    After last year’s actions by Governor McAuliffe, Republicans in the General Assembly introduced a number of bills related to the restoration of felon voting rights.

    Remarkably, the ACLU of Virginia opposed all GOP efforts at compromise. Why? Because they don’t allow felony inmates currently serving a sentence to vote. Not those released, not those on probation, not those who have served their time.

    No, they argue that those currently in prison for committing felonies should be allowed to vote.

    From the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star (emphasis added):

    “The ACLU of Virginia, which has a long history of fighting felon disenfranchisement in Virginia, is opposed to both GOP bills after taking the position that no one should lose the right to vote for any crime.”

    “‘Our bottom line now is the right to vote is the right to vote,’ said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. ‘It’s time to stop thinking about that as something that somebody gives you. It is yours.'”

    Statement of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck:

    “People of goodwill can and do disagree over when rights should be restored to former felons. It’s an appropriate matter for debate at the General Assembly. But to argue that every inmate serving time for murder or rape at Red Onion or Wallens Ridge should be able to vote is simply beyond the pale.”

    “To date, neither Ralph Northam nor Tom Perriello have been asked – nor offered to to say – whether or not they’d continue Terry McAuliffe’s blanket rights restoration policy.”

    “Perhaps the more pressing question is do they agree with the ACLU’s radical position that felony inmates serving time should be able to get an absentee ballot at taxpayer expense? During the Democrats’ race to the left, I don’t expect an answer – because the only acceptable answer to the far left is ‘yes.'”

  • Weekly Virginia GOP Address — January 27, 2017

    Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Delegate Steve Landes, a member of the House of Delegates from the 25th District. I have the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Education and as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.”

    “We are a little over two weeks into the 2017 session and things are moving very quickly. Over 1,000 bills were introduced by members this year that the House must act on before February 7, which is known as crossover.”

    “I want to share with you some of the priorities that Republicans will be working on this year.”

    “At the top of the list is improving our economy. Governor McAuliffe likes to say that our economy is booming, however that is simply not the case. In 2014, Virginia’s economy registered zero economic growth, which put us 48th in the United States. That’s why we’re working hard to encourage job growth, protect small businesses, continue to reform our regulatory process, and focus on workforce development.”

    “One of our biggest responsibilities this year is to amend the two-year state budget. As you may know, we currently face a 1.2-billion-dollar shortfall due to the lagging economy. But unlike Washington, we balance our budget in Virginia. Tough decisions will have to be made, and there will be cuts to government. We remain committed to passing a balanced conservative budget that does not include any tax or fee increases.”

    “One major budget announcement made this week will secure the future of our hardworking state employees and state police. We announced that our budget will include a 3 percent pay raise for state employees, raise the salaries of Virginia State Police officers, and include money to alleviate salary compression for local sheriff’s deputies. It is important that our men and women in uniform know that the General Assembly is truly grateful for all they do to keep us safe.”

    “Over the remaining session days, Republicans in the General Assembly will be working hard to make life easier for Virginia families. But we can’t do it alone. We need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your representatives and share your thoughts on important issues to you.”

    “On behalf of the Republican caucus, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.”

  • Northam Outflanks Perriello on Offshore Drilling — Will Perriello Flip?

    — How long until Tom Perriello has another heartfelt conversion? —  
    As President Trump takes action in Washington that will create jobs and advance American energy independence, the two Democrats who want to be the next governor of Virginia are in two very different places on energy security — for now.

    Lt. Governor Ralph Northam opposes offshore drilling. But in 2008, Tom Perriello went so far as to demand that a TV ad accusing him of being opposed to offshore drilling be pulled from air for containing a “flat out lie.” While in Congress, Tom Perriello actually sponsored legislation promoting offshore drilling.

    Perriello flip-flop incoming in 3…2…1…
    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Now that we have a President who believes in American energy independence again, it’s fascinating to watch the split between Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello on this issue. Northam has outflanked Perriello to his left, hoping to lock up the far-left environmental vote. Tom Perriello can’t let that happen.”

    “I look forward to yet another heart-felt, tear filled Jimmy Swaggart-style Facebook post in which Tom Perriello repents for his previous sins against the church of far-left liberalism. He’s already apologized for his previous pro-life leanings and support from the NRA. His flip on offshore drilling should be one for the ages.”

  • Whitbeck: Congratulations, Mr. President! Let’s Get to Work!

    — President Trump’s address lays out the challenges we face and the work ahead —
    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “President Trump’s speech today was a direct reflection of what we saw at the ballot box in November, and the message sent to us loud and clear by voters. It’s time for the American people, not the powerful in Washington, DC, to set the course for our nation.”

    “We face many challenges, but working together we can, and we will, meet them head on. We will leave a future for our children that is brighter than the one left for us by our parents and grandparents. America’s best days are ahead of us, even now.”

    “Congratulations, President Trump and Vice President Pence! Virginia is ready to get to work to help Make America Great Again!”

  • Race to the Left: Ralph Northam Supports Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

    — Days after calling for the end of voter ID, Democrats calls for “access” to licenses — 

    Ralph Northam is a man on a mission. Now that he’s in danger of being outflanked to the left by former Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello, Northam is taking every opportunity to shore up his support among the far-left fringe of his party.

    First he joined Governor Terry McAuliffe in calling for an end to Virginia’s common-sense voter ID law, a law twice upheld by the courts. Yesterday, he went even further:

    “We need to make sure that we have immigration reform for this country. We need to make sure that we have a pathway to citizenship in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and we need to make sure that people have access to driver’s licenses.”

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Ralph Northam’s panicked flight to the left would be comical if the stakes weren’t so high. In the same week Ralph Northam joins the call to end all forms of voter ID in Virginia, he comes out in support of giving licenses to those who are in our country illegally.”

    “A driver’s license is the gold standard for ID in our Commonwealth and all around the country. Current Virginia law reflects Federal standards for ID, and requires proof of citizenship before a license can be issued. Yet Ralph Northam would weaken this safeguard against non-citizens voting in our elections.”

    “Tom Perriello has Ralph Northam scared out of his mind. I shudder to think what this race to the far-left is going to produce next.”

  • Whitbeck: McAuliffe’s True Legacy Will Be a GOP Governor

    — Republicans will take no lectures on ethics from a Gov under FBI investigation —  
      RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “Forced to stay in Richmond for one final session instead of being whisked away into the Hillary Clinton administration, Terry McAuliffe is trying to build a political legacy, something that he could be remembered for other than booze and investigations.”

    “Unfortunately, he remains more focused on his political ambitions, anointing his chosen successor, and playing partisan games rather than doing the job of Governor and solving the challenges the hard working people of Virginia face.”

    “Instead of working to solve the problems he has admitted instead he huddled with Obama and Nancy Pelosi to plot out a vast national network to return Democrats to power, and is now trying to bring that plan to Virginia under the guise or reform to hide his true agenda – one that has the full support of Ralph Northam.

    “In fact, one of Terry McAuliffe’s partners in this effort will unveil their plan at the ultra liberal Center for American progress – where ultra-liberal Tom Perriello landed after being fired by voters in the 5th Congressional District.”

    “From day one of his administration, this Governor has been all in to build out the Obama-Clinton vision of governance in our Commonwealth. While he lectures on ethics, he remains under investigation by the FBI. While he talks about the urgent need to reform our economic development efforts he fails to mention his own failures that cost the taxpayers millions.”

    “Voters have had more than enough of failure and ham-fisted management in Richmond. Virginians have had enough of his political posturing and shady deals. In the end, Terry McAuliffe’s true legacy will be one of craft beer – and a Republican sweep this November.”

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