ACV Democratic News

Keeping In Touch with politics and other issues in Central Virginia .....The Virginia 22nd Senate District and The 6th Congressional District......Vote Democratic for a Better Future....Protect Your Benefits

Democratic Committee Meeting

Friday, September 12, 2014

Am Dems Sept. 2014 Meeting, Approx 2 Months to Election

The Am Dems have paid particular attention to voter ids that the Amherst voters will need to pass muster at the polls.     The Sept. meeting was a general roundup of all the topics needed for a Democrat Victory this Sept. plus we are exploring a new issue.     How to help Amherst citizens that would like to get their voting rights restored.     Information and specifics are below the photos.    There are two different sets of instructions.    One for Violent Felony and the second for Non Violent Felony.











Info and Instructions for Violent Felony
(Non Violent Felony instruction scroll down)

Individuals convicted of a felony in any state automatically lose the right to vote.     In Virginia they also lose their right to serve jury duty or hold public office and to possess fire arms.     

A convicted felon may have his voting rights in Virginia restored by having his or her Restoration of Rights Application approved by the  governor.   This application asks the governor to restore a felon's ability to vote, serve on a jury or hold public office, but it doesn't restore firearms rights or clear a criminal record.    Only the governor may restore a felon's voting privileges, and if your application is denied, you must wait two years before trying again. 

To apply, you must be a Virginia resident or have been convicted of a felony by a Virginia court, have paid all fines and restitution, be free from probation and parole and have no felony or misdemeanor charges or convictions for five years.

Understanding the Commonwealth of Virginia's petitioning process will increase the chances of having the right to vote restored in a timely fashion.      Miss a step in the application process and you must wait for two years to try again.

1.    Go to the court where your felony conviction took place and request certified copies of all felony court orders, sentencing reports and payment receipts for any restitution, fines, or court costs that you owed.   The Court Clerk will be able to assist you in locating these documents.

 2.   Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a copy of your driving record.   This is only required if you currently live outside Virginia.

3.   Go to the police department in your area and ask for a certified copy of your criminal record. This is only required if you currently live outside of Virginia.

 4.   Ask your probation or parole officer for a letter that details his or her supervision of you.   The letter should give details about you, your good character, and how you have turned your life around.    The letter should be addressed to the governor.

5.   Get your "Restoration of Rights" application packet from the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia.   You can download the application from the Commonwealth of Virginia website.    You can also call the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office at 804-692-2531 to have one mailed to you.

6.   Have three people write letters of recommendation for you.   The letters, templates for which are included in the "Restoration of Rights" packet, should attest to your good character and may not be written by relatives by blood or marriage.   It's recommended that you ask people such as your employer, a clergy member or community leader to write the letters on your behalf.

7.    Write a letter to the governor describing the circumstances surrounding your conviction, why you think your rights should be restored and how you have turned your life around.    For example, maybe you do volunteer work or have gone back to school or otherwise become more involved in your community in a positive way.

8.    Fill out the "Restoration of Rights" application. The application asks for your name, date of birth, Social Security number, current contact information, and your prison identification number from the Virginia Department of Corrections.   Mail it, along with all supporting documents, to:

 Restoration of Rights
        Secretary of the Commonwealth
        P.O. Box 2454
        Richmond, VA 23218


Applications are reviewed by the governor in the order they are received.    Only complete applications are reviewed.    The process takes approximately six months and you will be notified by mail of the governor's decision.


Info and Instructions for Non Violent Felony


New Process for Restoration of Civil Rights!

You might have heard that as of yesterday, Virginia started a more automated process of restoring civil rights to former non-violent felons. We want to make sure you have all the information you need if this change affects you or someone you know! Please feel free to forward this on anyone you know that might need this information.





Know the new process for Restoration of Rights for Non-Violent Felony Offenders

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for non-violent automatic restoration of civil rights:

1.     Have been convicted of a non-violent felony in a Virginia court, or in a U. S. District Court, military court or a court of another state or territory;

2.     Have completed serving the prison sentence and been released from probation or parole, and;

3.     Have paid all court costs, fines to the Commonwealth and restitution to the victims, satisfied other court-ordered conditions, and have no pending felony charges.

To get your rights restored:

1.     Get a copy of the non-violent restoration of rights contact form by clicking here, print the form and fax a completed form to (804) 786-9549. Paper forms are also available at probation and parole offices. You can also mail a completed form to: Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Restoration of Rights Division, P. O. Box 2454, Richmond, VA  23218

2.     Call the toll-free hot line number at 1-855-575-9177, during office hours, 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday (except State holidays) and provide the information needed.  Speak slowly and clearly so your information can be recorded correctly.

3.     A web-based contact form for direct submission WILL BE available online by August 1, 2013 at www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror.
 

Once you receive your rights restoration order from the Governor, you must complete the Virginia Voter Registration form to register to vote. You will need to put the date of your rights restoration on the Virginia Voter REGISTRATION form (question 4).

If you have any questions about this process, please call the toll free hot line number at 1-855-575-9177.




       Gov. McAuliffe   and   Secretary Stoney

Nine months of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration so far has restored voting rights to 3,200 ex-felons, Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney said enthusiastically to members of the Lynchburg Voter’s League Thursday.

That total, which he said is three times more than any previous governor, is only an appetizer.

“Obviously, I’m greedy,” he said at the league’s meeting at Court Street Baptist Church. “I want more than that.”


                                   Levar Stoney



The former deputy manager for McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign declared his hope is to restore rights to 5,000 by the end of the year and 20,000 by the time McAuliffe leaves office.   His office oversees clemency, pardons and restoration of rights.

He said he sees restoring rights as the “one single tool” that makes a major difference in people’s lives.   He hopes rights can be restored automatically one day, though he noted a divided makeup of the General Assembly is a current roadblock.   For now, he said his office is doing all in its power to expedite the restoration process.

In describing his review of the restoration process, he complimented former Gov. Bob McDonnell but steered clear of mentioning his recent conviction on federal corruption charges.

“He brought the process where it wasn’t, made some good tweaks,” Stoney said.
 

He described a woman’s reaction Thursday to learning her rights had been restored.   Her tears of happiness drive him to do what he does, he said.

“That’s just one step we can provide an individual,” he said.   “The governor believes people deserve a second chance.”

             "The Big Dog"       The Gov.          Levar

His office helped secure a change in the criteria for drug offenses to nonviolent offenses, which drew applause.   Stoney said he is in constant contact with members of the General Assembly, pushing for more funding to help make even more progress.

He also spoke of a push to bring more racial diversity to state appointed boards and said that is a major goal of McAuliffe.   With thousands of spots to fill on a wide range of areas, he said the goal is to recruit more minority groups that reflect the demographics of Virginia communities.

“We will diversify these boards,” he said. “You don’t have to be an elected leader to make a difference in people’s lives in the commonwealth.”

Stoney, a James Madison University graduate, served as executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia in 2008 and was one of the youngest in the country to hold such a role.





"Don't You Know Who I Am"  Sarah Palin was screaming at the top of her lungs as the throw down at the late night booze fueled party continued.



Sarah Palin and her family were at the center of a lively party last weekend that erupted into a fight, with daughter Bristol Palin allegedly throwing a right hook, a man who says he was a guest at the party told ABC News.

“She was punching him [another man] in the face like six times; it was an assault if I’ve ever seen one,” Eric Thompson said, adding that he was among 70 guests at the birthday party in Anchorage Saturday.



“It wasn’t a light punch either.    She was really hitting him.    I’m surprised he just sat there and took it.”

Political blogger Amanda Coyne reported that Sarah Palin, along with husband Todd and kids Bristol, Willow and Track, arrived in a stretch Hummer and that the fighting started as the beer started flowing.

The Palin family was asked to leave the party after Track Palin, 21, allegedly attacked another party guest who had previously dated his younger sister, Willow Palin, Thompson said.     At this point the former VP candidate started screaming "don't you know who I am".

“I heard Sarah Palin yelling do you know who I am?   All of us could not believe it.   We thought we were watching an episode of Jerry Springer,” he added.

Anchorage police said members of the Palin family were attending a party at the home Saturday night when a fight erupted outside.   They declined to provide further details.

“I gave a statement to police; my wife did and like 10 other people did,” Thompson said.

Sarah Palin made no mention of the alleged altercation in an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity Show” Thursday night.      Sarah spent all her tv time spitting venom at President Obama while Hannity quivered with glee.

The Palin family did not return several requests for comment.


Case: 14-36989

On Saturday, September 6, 2014 just before midnight Anchorage police responded to a report of a verbal and physical altercation taking place between multiple subjects outside of a residence located on the 900 block of Harbor Circle.   A preliminary investigation by police revealed that a party had been taking place at a nearby residence and a fight had broken out between multiple subjects outside of the residence.   None of the involved parties wanted to press charges at the time of the incident and no arrests were made.   Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident. Some of the Palin family members were in attendance at the party.

This case is still pending, therefore, I’m unable to provide any further details or information in the police reports at this time.



Money from ObamaCares (Affordable Care Act) Coming to Lynchburg Amherst Area 

                                                           OBAMA   CARES



The Johnson Health and the Blue Ridge Medical centers are set to receive more than $400,000 in Affordable Care Act funding this week.
“We’re excited about it.  The Johnson Health Center is very excited to be able to expand our health services in the community,” said Gary Campbell, Johnson Health Center’s interim chief executive officer.

The Johnson Health Center is set to receive just over $221,000, and the Blue Ridge Medical Center will get almost $214,000.

Campbell said the money will be used to expand obstetric and gynecological services at the Johnson Health Center’s main campus in Lynchburg and its locations in Bedford and Amherst.

“We’ve experienced a pretty dramatic increase in OB-GYN patients and the need for that,” Campbell said. “By providing greater access to care with a new OB-GYN on staff we can meet the needs of our population.”

In Arrington, the money will be used to hire a part-time dentist as well as a nurse practitioner, said Peggy Whitehead, executive director of the Blue Ridge Medical Center.

The dentist “will work mostly with children and we will be doing some collaboration with the schools in our service area to make dental care more accessible,” she said.

The new nurse practitioner will do outreach as well as work directly with patients at the center.

“We’re very thrilled,” Whitehead said. “This is really going to help us expand our ability to see patients and make health care more affordable and accessible for people.”


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded a total of $5.6 million to 25 centers across Virginia to help them expand primary care services.  HHS estimates the money will allow the centers to reach about 27,000 new patients in Virginia.   A total of $295.5 million went to centers across the country.




Later this month the Virginia Senate and House will try to work out a way for 400,000 Virginians to be added to the ranks of the insured.    The Federal Government will pick up all the costs for the first three or more years with their input dropping to 95 percent after that.    This is now being obstructed by republicans.

 


 
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News






ACVDN

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stunned by Right Wing Garbage Published in Lynchburg News and Advance

ACVDN Headline

"Stunned by Right Wing Garbage Published in Lynchburg News and Advance"

Local legislators stunned by McDonnell verdict that was the headline for the original article.    What were Steve , Kathy and Scottie stunned by?    Did they somehow think it was ok to trade the influence of your office for personal gain?    I guess they were shocked to find out its not ok.

Three local pols who say a republican could not possibly be involved in a criminal act and that they would buy a used car from Bob McDonnell.



 Original article by Alicia Petska

Local representatives were stunned by the guilty verdicts handed down Thursday in the corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.   None of them ever thought a republican with religious connections could ever be convicted of any criminal act.   All three will hold the criminally convicted duo in their prayers and stressed that the McDonnells were misunderstood and had only made a mistake.   They never acted criminally the trio opined.   A jury of Virginians saw it differently.

“It’s clearly a sad day for Virginia,” said state Sen. Steve Newman, adding he personally was saddened as he’s known and worked alongside McDonnell for more than two decades.   Newman said “He has been such an honorable man, fighting day in and day out for Virginia's women to have the right to a forced ultra sound".

Del. Kathy Byron, who joined the House in 1998, said she was extremely disappointed.   Disappointed with what Kathy?    The corrupt Gov. and first lady or could you be referring to the verdict?   “I served with the governor for many years, and he served with distinction,” said Byron, R-Bedford.   Kathy I'm willing to bet the people of Bedford see selling influence as wrong even thou you don't.   “He cared about families and about making the commonwealth a better place.    I believe that’s what he dedicated his life to do.”    Checked your ethics at the door, Huh! Kathy?

Newman said he hoped the McDonnells would “sprint” to the appeals court.   Sprinting to the appeals court is what Newman sees as an answer to the lack of Ethics Laws in Virginia for politicians.    You are a senator, introduce a bill with some teeth and establish a system of ethical conduct for politicians.     Why hasn't that been done already Steve?

“I think there is an important distinction between making a mistake and committing felonies,” he said, adding he doesn’t believe there was criminal intent behind the former first couple’s actions.    What do you base your belief on Steve?    Did you know Bob well enough to believe he could walk the razors edge and never get cut?     Once again republicans can do no wrong.    Come on Newman look around this is the real world.

Mat Staver, a vice president with Liberty University and dean of its law school, said he was grieved for the McDonnells, who now face possible prison time.   Would you be grieved for a democrat facing prison time?   A regular working man facing lock up?    My God you're the dean of the liberty law school.    What kind of silly little world do you live in?

Gov. McDonnell spoke at LU several times while in office, and the school administration stood by him as the gift-giving scandal unfolded.   Send him a cheese box in prison, hold a job for him when he gets out.    It wasn't a gift-giving scandel Mat it was a public official trading the respect of his office for personal gain.



Earlier this year, after McDonnell and his wife had been indicted, LU invited McDonnell to be a visiting professor at its government school and he gave several lectures there.     Staver said Thursday’s verdicts don't erase all the good done  (specifically what good?)  by McDonnell, who he described  (described by who the Leadership at Liberty?) as one of Virginia’s best and most effective governors.

McDonnell’s track record at one point earned him a spot  (that's BS Mitt passed on Gov Ultra sound)  on the short list for the nomination for vice president.

“I think it’s sad to see a person like Bob McDonnell ultimately have this kind of punctuation point on his political career,” Staver said.  “He was a rising star, and obviously that has all changed as a result of this.”    11 Criminal Convictions for Corruption = a punctuation point to a Liberty VP and Dean of The Law School, somebody make that make sense.

The jury’s decision was sending a message “loud and clear” that elected officials must be above reproach in all their dealings, Staver added.   Finally Matt puts away his tears and returns to reality, briefly.

“You have to be very careful with regard to what you do as an elected official and go above and beyond what is called for,” he said.    No Matt you don't have to go above and beyond you just have to be honest.   I know a lot of folks go by the anything you can get away with rule, I didn't think that Liberty taught it to their students.

Thursday’s verdicts came down while LU’s law school hosted a seminar on the legal debate over the definition of marriage.   What a waste of time for that debate to be hosted at Liberty.   What a shame when right wing baptist try to make the laws of the United States of America conform to their specific beliefs.

Featured speakers included E.W. Jackson, who last year was the Republican Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor.   When you say EW Jackson, brother you have said it all.

Sorry I can't take any more of this joke column published in the Lynchburg News and Advance.



Kathleen L. Carmody said she voted for Bob McDonnell and thought he was  "terrific for Virginia"  as governor — but as a juror in McDonnell's corruption trial, she was
compelled to convict him.

"The facts spoke for themselves,"  she told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday not long after she and fellow jurors found McDonnell guilty on 11 of 13 counts.

McDonnell's wife, Maureen, was convicted of nine of 13 charges.
 


The case derailed the career of the one time rising Republican star.  Bob McDonnell's attorney, Henry Asbill, said his client did not receive a fair trial and will appeal.

Asbill reiterated his previous statement that prosecutors sought to criminalize routine political behavior.




"I have no idea what the jury deliberated about," Asbill said. "There are a lot of things about the case that (you) can sit back and think about but it's hard to tell when the die was cast."    Henry the die was cast when Bob and Maureen stuffed their pockets with everything they could suck out of Jonnie Williams.    Asbill has to be a republican, he takes no responsibility for the work he did that led to the jury's verdict.    He openly attacks the jury for their decision.    Absill presented a goofy and unbelievable defense and the jury made a decision on his versus the prosecution's cases.

Maureen McDonnell's attorney, William Burck, declined to comment.

McDonnell and his wife now face up to 20 years in prison on each count, although a pre sentencing report by the federal probation office will result in a lighter recommendation. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 6.








Stop the presses.   Virginia republicans learn that there are white criminals also.   Stunned by the god old boy Governor Bob's conviction on so many felonies the GOP meets in secret to try to find a way to fund Bob's defense fund without anyone finding out.   The smoke signals eminate from Virginia's mountain tops asking the Koch brothers to send money and lots of it.   Religo-nuts leaf thru their bibles looking for the part about throwing your wife under the bus to save your own ass.   Republicans renew theit vow to vote for anything with an R after its name.   Bob Goodlatte and Ben Cline breath a sigh of relief as the wool is pulled tightly over GOP eyes.


Another family values religous conservative turns out to be a corrupt phoney selling an elected office for all the traffic will bear.   How many times do these A-Holes who spend their lives telling you how to live yours turn out this way?   Dim witted republicans keep falling for the old family values political rap.   The next family values jerk who wraps himself in the bible and tells you he will restrict the laws so everyone will have to live like these falling down funny bible thumpers do will be held aloft by the same republican voters who got burned by Bob.   There is something about fantasy land that rests at the core of the republican mind and they will never wise up.


Bob could have pled to one count that didn't involve corruption and Maureen would have walked, no charges, free but they decided on this carnival sideshow in an attempt to sustain Bob's political viability.   This man with the poorly functioning mind was once the Governor of Virginia.     Now Bob is a man with a church connection who thinks that lets him get away with anything.     In reality Bob is a convicted criminal about to earn the moniker convict.


McDonnell signed a bill into law three years ago that strips state employees of their pensions if they are convicted of a felony related to on-the-job conduct.   Poetic justice for this former governor and his wife.

Bob's attorney is talking about how "they're trying to criminalize routine political behavior." Somehow I don't think that's going to fly.   If Bob and Maureen call what they did routine political behavior then it needs to be criminalized, though I think it is already criminal (so says the jury).   Henry Asbill sees a big payday representing Bob as lots of gullible republicans donate to the former gov's defense fund.   Bob and Maureen McDonnell are convicted criminals, convicted of multiple felonies. 


 

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted Thursday of taking bribes to promote a dietary supplement in a corruption case that derailed the career of the onetime rising Republican star and laid bare the couple's broken marriage.

A federal jury in Richmond convicted Bob McDonnell of 11 of the 13 counts he faced; Maureen McDonnell was convicted of nine of the 13 counts she faced. Both bowed their heads and wept as the court clerk read a chorus of "guilty" verdicts.

Widely considered a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential campaign, McDonnell was reduced to living with the family's priest in a church rectory during the trial. Now he and his wife face up to 20 years in prison for each conspiracy, fraud and bribery conviction. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 6.




The couple's defense strategy depended in large part on persuading jurors that their marriage itself was a fraud and that they were unable to speak to each other, let alone conspire to accept bribes. They left the courtroom separately - first Bob and then Maureen, who hugged one of her daughters and wept loudly on the way out.


Bob McDonnell was ashen as he was mobbed by TV cameras before climbing into a waiting blue Mercedes.   The jurors did noticed by their verdict that Mr. and Mrs McDonnell got along well enough to convince the voters of Virginia that they were a happy family values couple and that these things they called a loan only became a loan when the public found out about them.

"All I can say is that my trust remains in the Lord," he said quietly.   Still playing the old religious rap as a way to get out of trouble.?    


The couple was convicted on nearly all the counts involving doing favors for wealthy vitamin executive Jonnie Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans that they admitted taking.

      I really like this sports car, even more than I like the watch Bob said to Maureen who was riding shotgun.


Maureen McDonnell also was convicted of obstructing justice after the scandal broke, by returning a designer gown Williams had bought for her during a New York shopping trip, along with a handwritten note that tried to diminish its value by suggesting they had agreed Williams could give the dress to his daughters or to charity.  That conviction also carries a potential 20-year term.

Jurors acquitted them of bank fraud on loan applications that failed to mention the money Williams lent them.     It became a loan later after those applications were made.



The former governor, his head in his hands, began crying as soon as he heard the first sob from his daughter Cailin.  Other family members and supporters followed suit.

The weeping became louder, and McDonnell's sobbing grew more intense, with each succeeding finding of guilt.   Now its on to the appeals process as big republican donors chip in to the funds pool for the next stage of the Bob and Maureen sideshow.

Testifying in his own defense, McDonnell insisted that he provided nothing more than routine political courtesies to the former CEO of Star Scientific, a Virginia-based dietary supplements company.   His wife's lawyers, meanwhile, said Williams preyed on her vulnerability after she developed a "crush" on the businessman.   The Pat Robinson way, take the bribes and then blame Williams for the gift.


Maureen McDonnell did not take the stand even as her private life was exposed, with staff from the governor's mansion and aides testifying that her erratic behavior risked becoming a political embarrassment.

The jurors all declined to speak to reporters as they left the courthouse through a back door.


        The "Couch" is so much nicer than Maureen and Jonnie is looking out for him also.

"I just want to go home," one of them said.   Another said a long hot shower was badly needed.

McDonnell's attorney, is talking about how "they're trying to criminalize routine political behavior." Somehow I don't think that's going to fly.   Absill said he will appeal.  Who is paying Bob's legal bills, is Henry Asbill working for free?   Maureen McDonnell's attorney, William Burck, declined comment.


Asbill said he was shocked, dazed, confused, taken aback, blind sided, surprised, let down, fooled, tricked and disappointed.  He complained that prosecutors sought to criminalize routine political behavior, and said "I have no idea what the jury deliberated about."   Absill has no idea what the jury deliberated about, is this man a real, passed the bar attorney or a Regent U., Liberty Law School trained schister?   Asbill is one dense human being who appears not to have much of a feeling when it comes to a clients guilt or basic ethics.  Can't help but wonder if Absill was one of the wise guys who dreamed up Bob's defense?


Williams, who testified under immunity, said he spent freely on the McDonnells to secure their help promoting his tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory supplement Anatabloc as a treatment for ulcers, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.   Williams declined to comment on the verdicts, his attorney said.

His gifts included nearly $20,000 in designer clothing and accessories for Maureen McDonnell, a $6,500 engraved Rolex watch for Bob, $15,000 in catering for their daughter Cailin's wedding, free family vacations and golf outings for their boys. Williams also provided three loans totaling $120,000.     Just normal acts of kindness we receive every day from our friends, right Bob?


As the gifts rolled in, the McDonnells appeared at promotional events and even hosted a launch luncheon for Anatabloc at the governor's mansion. Williams and his associates also were allowed into a reception for Virginia health care leaders at the mansion, and McDonnell arranged meetings with state health officials as Williams sought state money and the credibility of Virginia's universities for research that would support Anatabloc.     Just things Bob would do for anyone who gave him $200 thousand in gifts and such.

Defense lawyers argued that none of these were favors for bribes, because the governor didn't consider the favors to be anything special, the research grant applications were never submitted, and being first lady isn't an official position.   Bob said he did for Williams what he would do for anyone giving him expensive gifts and money, nothing more.

If she's not a public official and the couple weren't speaking, there was no conspiracy, the defense  said.   Is this dumb or what?    How much legal training do it take to dream this one up?    They showed up for court holding hands and smiling.    They split up when the judge wouldn't grant them  two individual trials.     Maureen stayed at the home where they were living together up to that point and Bob took any bed he could find.


Witnesses - including the former governor himself - said Maureen McDonnell despised being first lady, and was prone to such angry outbursts that the mansion staff threatened a mass resignation. McDonnell said he began working unnecessarily late, just to avoid her anger.      In common terms Bob was a pussy who couldn't deal with his own wife.

                                   Not Me,  said The Other Bob


While they initially showed up at the courthouse hand-in-hand, they split up once the judge refused to try them separately, and the former governor testified that they were living apart during the trial.     

If Maureen McDonnell was portrayed as erratic, the powerful and straight-arrow image her politician husband fostered didn't fare much better. The defense introduced a September 2011 email from McDonnell to his wife lamenting the deterioration of their marriage, complaining about her "fiery anger" and begging her to work with him to repair the relationship.

While several witnesses described the first lady's relationship with Williams as inappropriate and flirtatious, none suggested it was physical, and Williams testified that his dealings with both McDonnells were all business.

Prosecutors said the McDonnells turned to Williams in desperation because they were grappling with $90,000 in credit card debt and annual losses of $40,000 to $60,000 on family-owned vacation rentals in Virginia Beach. Williams said he wrote the first $50,000 check to Maureen after she complained about their money troubles and offered to help his company.

Virginia has among the nation's weakest political ethics laws (republicans want to keep it that way), and McDonnell repeatedly stressed that he did nothing to violate them.   But this case was federal, and both prosecutors and FBI officials said the verdicts send a message that state laws provide no shelter from corruption prosecutions.     Knowing that weak ethics laws do not protect politicians should be enough to make them enact some strong state ethic's laws.    Republicans refuse to act.

Virginia's current Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats who were elected as the scandal developed, have imposed strict gift bans and ethics policies on their own staff, and called for tougher rules than the ethics reform that passed the Republican-controlled legislature this summer.     There you go Steve Newman, Kathy Byron and Scott Garrett, get involved and get ethics law cemented in place.

"We have a long way to go to restore the public's trust,"  Herring said in a statement.   "It should be crystal clear that the people of Virginia deserve real ethics reform." and need to pay attention to the candidates they vote for.   If there is any bright spot here it is that Bob has a diminished ability to seek higher office, only half of republicans would still vote for him.   In Bobs favor all of the religious family values voters will still support him if he just tells them he has been forgiven.    That's the magic word, Forgiven.

Here's the bottom line.    I don't believe one word of Bob McDonnell's story and the same for Maureen.    I'm more insulted by the views from the three local politicians and the Liberty VP and Law School Dean.    These folks have no respect for members of the public and in Dean Staver's case no respect for the law as it applies to all beings, not just his friend Bob.    Steve Newman, Kathy Byron and Scott Garrett should be voted out of office at the earliest opportunity for their lack desire to do anything.     Regent U. and Liberty U. will never be any more than they are now.    Both deal in politics to get the most state money possible and to pay the least to local governments and to have total freedom to run their organizations without regulation or restriction, as if they weren't on the public dole.    Local Lynchburg elected officials lack the courage to deal with Liberty and the citizens end up paying the part Liberty refuses to pick up but that's a story for later.    Liberty bullies local officials.    What, You didn't know?

Jan 6th of next year sentencing will take place if that date stands firm.     Bob will draw 8 years and Maureen 6 years and a healthy fine will be imposed and never collected.     Republicans will turn back flips justifying Governor Bob's behavior, going so far as to make up accomplishments for their fallen team member.     The ethics laws will get some adjustment, but not too much, in hopes future criminals can escape punishment.  

Oh!   The Lynchburg News and Advance might decide to turn out balanced news instead of right wing garbage.    Could be as simple as getting an editor.


Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


ACVDN

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Senator Mark Warner Greeted by Large Crowd at SBC

Senator Warner arrived to loud and sustained applause.     No one expects a politician to start on schedule but Senator Warner was right on time.      The President of the Sweet Briar Young Dems (Chelsea Alvarado) was there as well as the Chairman (Ned Kable) of the Amherst County Democrats.      Shannon Valentine was there and it felt so right, Shannon has always worked with the students of all our local colleges to promote educational opportunity and on ways to manage educational debt.     Rodney Taylor was there.     It was a joyful and large gathering of central Virginia Democrats and local officials.

    ACVDN                                     Mark       and     Ned
  ACVDN                                   Chelsea        and      Mark
  
 Upon arrival at Sweet Briar College, Chelsea Alvarado already had 23 credit hours under her belt thanks to numerous AP exams she had taken in high school.  Fairfax County high school covered the fees and she entered college with advanced status.   Not all school districts pay for the exams and not all students in Virginia get the opportunity that Chelsea did.   Getting this chance to earn college credit hours while still in high school for all students was on  Senator Warner's agenda and he was working across party lines for a solution.

“I was actually shocked, talking to my friends, that their counties and schools don’t pay for their AP tests,” said Alvarado, now a sophomore at Sweet Briar. “I don’t think I ever would have been able to pay for so many AP tests and get, basically, one semester of my college requirements done before college.”

These days, Alvarado and her peers are facing what’s been called a crisis in student debt. Today’s college graduates owe more than $1 trillion on student loans — more than the nation’s combined credit card debt.   If we as a nation fail to solve the educational crises today's students face there will be a price paid in terms of  America's world standing. .


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 In Virginia, members of the Class of 2012 racked up an average cumulative debt of about $25,000 by graduation, about 25 percent more than graduates five years earlier, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

This upward trend is matched locally with both Lynchburg College and Randolph College graduates seeing a 24 percent rise in average debt during the same period, according to figures compiled by the institute and confirmed by the colleges.

At Sweet Briar, average debt by graduation climbed by 17 percent.


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On Thursday, Sweet Briar was the site of a gathering of about 90 people who came to talk student debt with Sen. Mark Warner, who was on a campaign swing across Virginia colleges to highlight his proposals on the issue.    Senator Warner received a robust and lasting round of applause as he entered the hall on time and ready to tackle the issue.

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Alvarado who is President of the Swet Briar Young Democrats asked Warner, D-Va., what could be done to help more students get a head start by earning college credits in high school.

Warner, a former governor seeking a second term as senator, said he’d like to see high schoolers be able to get income-based Pell grants to help pay for up to one semester of college courses through dual enrollment or other programs.

Post-graduation, he said, it should be easier for people to put part of their pre-tax salary toward their debt and get on income-based repayment plans.

Students also should be able to refinance their loans to take advantage of better interest rates.

“We’re willing to do that to help our banks,” Warner said. “Shouldn’t we be willing to do that to help a generation of young people?”

Student debt — the second biggest source of household debt behind mortgages — should be a top priority in D.C. and would be if students voted in stronger numbers, Warner added.

“I think, if we don’t act, you’re going to see this issue have an enormous and increasing challenge on our economy,” he said.

“But because young people don’t vote in those numbers, we’re fighting to get it on the agenda.   So it’s really important that you all participate.” 

Warner, who’s prided himself on his bipartisan credentials, said Thursday he’s been working on the student debt issue with Republican partners like Marc Rubio, John Thune and Kelly Ayotte, all co-sponsors of bills Warner has pending.

“Senator Warner has proposed a series of bipartisan bills to give graduates and their families new tools to pay down student debt and make college more affordable,” said spokesman David Turner.   “Ed Gillespie seems to be willing to ignore Senator Warner’s record in favor of misleading attacks, exactly what one would expect from a self described partisan warrior.   It’s just more proof that he would add to the gridlock in Washington.”  

The midterm elections are Nov. 4.    Sweet Briar said Thursday’s visit by Warner was organized by the Amherst County Democrats.   The school has invited Gillespie and Sarvis to speak on campus as well.
 

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Amherst County Virginia Democratic News



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