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Saturday, November 30, 2013

GOP Committee Chairman Steps Down After Rape Charges

Robert Kerns resigned as chairman of Montgomery County's Republican Committee after being charged with rape of an unconscious victim, rape of a substantially impaired person, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, tampering with physical evidence and related charges. 

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - November 26, 2013 (WPVI) -- The former chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee is in police custody, charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a female employee.

Robert Kerns is charged with indecent assault of a person unconscious, indecent assault of a person substantially impaired, and other offenses.

The alleged incident happened on October 25th. The victim was an employee at Kerns' private law practice at the time.

Prosecutors say Kerns met with the victim and tricked her, giving her wine laced with the sleeping medication Ambien.   They say he then sexually assaulted her both in his car and at her home after she passed out.

Court documents say the assaults were violent and that the victim suffered severe injuries as a result.

In detailing the alleged assault, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said Kerns planned the entire assault in advance and tried to cover his tracks afterward.    The charges against him include evidence tampering.

Ferman described the victim as "very courageous" in coming forward.

The incident was first reported to Upper Merion Police on October 31st, six days after it occurred.    But Ferman said the victim took the unusual step of going to the hospital for testing immediately, before reporting the assault to police.

That allowed crucial evidence to be preserved, including traces of Ambien still in the victim's system, as well as DNA evidence linking Kerns to the assault, Ferman said.

Kerns was taken into custody Tuesday.    He had no comment coming in and out of court.    Kerns will have to post $100,000 cash to get out on bail.

News of Kerns' arrest came less than two weeks after he resigned as the chairman of Montgomery County's Republican Committee amid reports that an investigation was underway.

At the time, the executive director of the committee said in a statement the committee had   "no comment on media reports related to a possible criminal investigation of Mr. Kerns unrelated to his duties as chairman."

Kerns is a lawyer and a partner at Kerns, Pearlstine, Onorato and Hladi.

"Mr. Kerns vehemently denies these allegations.    He maintains his innocence.    We look forward to testing and defeating these accusations in the court of law and restoring his good name," Center City defense attorney Brian McMonagle said.

Sources said Kerns' last job as chairman of the Republican Committee was to call a special meeting for December 4th, when a new chairman will be selected.

Too many people we place in positions of trust are letting the public down.    It does not matter who the president is or was or which party they call home we need to clean these types out of positions of power and to enforce sentences for their actions that are strict enough to disuade others from getting out of line.   The trust of the public must be protected for our system to survive.

This list consists of American politicians convicted of crimes, either committed or prosecuted,  while holding office in the federal 
government.    It includes politicians who were convicted or pleaded guilty in a court of law, and does not include politicians involved in unprosecuted scandals  (which may or may not have been illegal in nature),  or politicians who have only been arrested or indicted.    The list also does not include crimes which occur outside the politician’s tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.

Obama Years

Judicial Branch

Samuel B. Kent (R) The Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas was sentenced on May 11, 2009, to 33 months in prison for having lied about sexually harassing two female employees.   He had been appointed to office by George H. W. Bush in 1990. 

Thomas Porteous (D) The Federal Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana was impeached, convicted and removed from office on December 8, 2010 on charges of bribery and lying to Congress.     He had been appointed to office by Bill Clinton in 1994. 

Legislative Branch

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23rd, 2012 and later pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court.    The court fined him 250 dollars.     He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.   Senator Mike Crapo was arrested for a DUI in the early morning of December 23 after being pulled over for running a red light.     His BAC was .110.    Mr. Crapo has publicly stated many times that he does not drink alcohol at all because his Mormon faith does not allow him to.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) pleaded guilty on February 20, 2013 to one count of wire and mail fraud in connection with his misuse of $750,000 of campaign funds.    Jackson, Jr. agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, and criminal forfeiture.    Jackson, Jr. used about $750,000 in campaign money for personal expenses that included a Michael Jackson fedora and cashmere capes.    Sentencing was scheduled for June 28, 2013.

Rick Renzi (R-AZ) on June 12th was found guilty of 17 of the 32 counts against him, including wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, 
racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators.

Trey Radel (R-FL) was convicted of misdemeanor possession of cocaine in November, 2013.   As a first time offender, he was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250.   Radel announced he would take a leave of absence, but did not resign.

GW Bush Years

Executive branch

Lewis Libby (R) Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R).     'Scooter' was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the 
Plame Affair on March 6, 2007 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000.     His sentence was commuted by George W. Bush (R) on July 1, 2007.

Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, resigned after 2 months.    Pleaded guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000.

Claude Allen (R) Advisor to President Bush on Domestic Policy, Allen was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores. (2006) He was convicted on one count and resigned soon after.

Legislative branch

Jack Abramoff CNMI scandal involves the efforts of Abramoff to influence Congressional action concerning U.S. immigration and minimum wage laws.    Congressmen convicted in the Abramoff scandal include:    Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pleaded guilty to bribery.
Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

James W. Ellis (R) executive director of Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), pled guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution in a 2002 state legislative campaign.

John Colyandro (R) executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), pled guilty to accepting an illegal campaign 
contribution in a 2002 state legislative campaign.

Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors.    Ney received 30 months in prison.

Duke Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005 to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years in prison.

William J. Jefferson (D-LA) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson's home freezer.    He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008.    He was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in prison on November 13, 2009.    

Jefferson's Chief of Staff Brett Pfeffer, was sentenced to 84 months for bribery.  (2006) 

Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist.    Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years probation. (2003)

Jim Traficant (D-OH) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the US House of Representatives. (2002) 

Vito Fossella (R-NY) US Congressman convicted of drunken driving in 2008, appealed the charge, but then pled guilty in 2009.

Larry Craig Senator (R-ID) – Married Senator and vocal critic of Clinton's affair, pled guilty to disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis 
airport men's room, after having been arrested on a charge of homosexual lewd conduct.   (2007) 

Frank Ballance (D-NC) admitted to federal charges of money laundering and mail fraud in October 2005 and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Clinton Years

Executive branch

Wade Sanders (D), Deputy Assistant United States Secretary of the Navy, for Reserve Affairs, was sentenced to 37 months in prison on one charge of possession of child pornography. (2009)

Legislative branch

Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. (1997) Was later convicted of 12 counts of bank fraud. (1999) 

Walter R. Tucker III (D-CA) was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 1996 for extortion and tax evasion. 

Wes Cooley (R-OR), Cooley was convicted of having lied on the 1994 voter information pamphlet about his service in the Army.    He was fined and sentenced to two years probation (1997)

Austin Murphy (D-PA) convicted of one count of voter fraud for filling out absentee ballots for members of a nursing home. (1999) 

House banking scandal 

 The House of Representatives Bank found that 450 members had overdrawn their checking accounts, but not been penalized.    Six were convicted of charges, most only tangentially related to the House Bank itself.    Twenty two more of the most prolific over-drafters were singled out by the House Ethics Committee. (1992)

Buz Lukens (R-Ohio) convicted of bribery and conspiracy.

Carl C. Perkins (D-Kentucky) pleaded guilty to a check kiting scheme involving several financial institutions (including the House Bank).

Carroll Hubbard (D-Kentucky) convicted of illegally funneling money to his wife's 1992 campaign to succeed him in congress.

Mary Rose Oakar (D-Ohio) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge not related to the House Bank.

Walter Fauntroy (D-District of Columbia) convicted of filing false disclosure forms in order to hide unauthorized income.

Congressional Post Office scandal (1991–1995) 

A conspiracy to embezzle House Post Office money through stamps and postal vouchers to congressmen.

Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison, in 1995.

Joe Kolter (D-Pennsylvania) Convicted of one count of conspiracy  and sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Jay Kim (R-CA) accepted $250,000 in illegal 1992 campaign contributions and was sentenced to two months house arrest (1992) 


Mitch Fights Back, Several Years Later

All of those, supposedly centrist Republican groups who funded the Tea Party crazies because they were challenging Democratic senators and representatives in Town Hall meetings, when the Preisident was first elected, are now paying for their arrogance.   

They thought they could control the Tea Party, getting the base all upset about social issues just before an election and then ignoring them until the next election.  Oh!, how wrong they were.   The Tea Party is now ripping the GOP apart at the seams.

McConnell and the rest of the GOP are learning a big life lesson:  When you get into a relationship with angry, destructive people, they will turn on you and destroy you. 

Compare these two statements that demonstrate how far the GOP has strayed from sanity.    

The first is from the late actor John Wayne, who on JFK's 1960 election said,  "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president and I hope he does a good job."

The second is from talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who on the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 said,  "I hope he fails."

The GOP is willing to punish America to defeat President Obama and Democrats.    Slice it any way you want, That's SICK.

Republican Campaign Committee Pushes Back Against Conservative Group

In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans.

Even more striking, a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates, in an effort to punish them for working for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Jim DeMint, then a South Carolina senator, that is trying to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and some other incumbents up for re-election next year whom it finds insufficiently conservative.

“We’re not going to do business with people who profit off of attacking Republicans,”  said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the committee. 

“Purity for profit is a disease that threatens the Republican Party.”

The committee has conveyed the same message, privately, to 2014 Senate candidates, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee  (the senatorial committee’s House counterpart),  the Republican Governors Association and Mike DuHaime,  the chief strategist for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, for whom Jamestown also does work.

Jamestown declined to respond to the attempt to curtail their business, deferring to the Senate Conservatives Fund, which criticized Mr. McConnell.

“This is happening because Mitch McConnell is having a complete meltdown,”   said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the conservative group. 

“He can’t defend his record so he’s threatening and attacking everyone who disagrees with him.    He’s so rattled, he has decided to declare war on the entire conservative movement, which represents the very people he needs to win re-election.    This isn’t the behavior of a confident person.    It’s the irrational reaction of a power-hungry bully who isn’t getting his way.”

Some of Jamestown’s conservative clients also moved to defend the firm.

“When some in Washington stepped away from our campaign, Jamestown stood with us and fought,”  said Representative Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina.    “I think their team is a good one and what a few in D.C. decide isn’t going to change that.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s power play is part of a larger effort among establishment Republicans after the recent 
government shutdown to seize control of the party from insurgent forces who want to push Republicans toward a more hard-line posture and aggressive brand of conservatism.    The attempt to effectively blacklist the consulting firm illustrates the extent of the tensions between the establishment and the hard-liners.

Mr. McConnell’s allies in Washington’s lobbying community have been furious for weeks that Jamestown, which also does work for groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition, was on retainer with the Senate Conservatives Fund.

One prominent Republican lobbyist even printed out the records of a Louisville television station detailing the run times of every ad 
devised by Jamestown for the conservative group’s campaign against Mr. McConnell and gave it to a reporter.

“These are not the kind of people we would ever do business with,”  said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In the wake of the shutdown, Mr. McConnell and his top aides are also becoming more outspoken about wanting to effectively destroy the Senate Conservatives Fund.    The senator has told donors that he and other party leaders will take a much more aggressive approach in confronting such conservative groups.

And on Friday, one of Mr. McConnell’s closest aides offered a vivid metaphor about the leader’s determination.

“S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,”   said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell’s chief of staff, now detailed to the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the election.    “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”

Who ultimately wins?    The country will be better off if they both fade away.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Obstruction of Every Obama Appointment ENDS

ACV Democratic News Bottom Lines this Change for its readers.

This graph shows cloture votes in the U.S. Senate, meaning the number of times Senators moved to cut off a filibuster.   The giant spike at the end shows the period when Republicans lost the Senate and started filibustering almost every vote of any consequence.      When Democrats talk about never having seen anything like the current level of filibustering, this is what they mean.    Yes, filibustering is necessarily the last-ditch tool of the minority party, and Democrats have certainly used the filibuster – including to block President George W. Bush’s judicial nominations – but never on this scale.

Note to GOP: McCain/Palin Lost.

Note to GOP: Romney/Ryan Lost.

Obama and the Democrats won, both times.   Obama gets to choose the people to appoint.   When republicans win they make the appointments but they refuse to allow the President to do the same.   Republicans are spoiled children and need to grow up and act like adults.   I'm not talking the occasional blocking of a nominee.   I'm screaming the blocking of every nominee proposed by President Obama, even Republicans he tried to appoint.

The change corrects a pattern of unprecedented obstruction over the past 5 years by the Republican party.   Now Republicans threaten to punish the country when they return to power.    Really Republicans, What could you possibly do to gum up the workings of government more than you are doing now?   

You've shut the government down and openly hunger to do it again.    Your obstruction is not relegated to just one area, you block and obstruct everything.     You tried to kill the National Labor Relations Board because you hate unions and workers.    You tried to kill the EPA  because nobody should regulate the businesses that donate money to your future campaigns.

You are willing to let our hungry starve.   You don't care if disadvantaged youth go to school or receive an adequate education.   For you health care is a gift for the select few.   A woman for Republicans is a farm animal to be owned and controlled.   You happily destroy our countries credit rating.    Republicans have become the enemy within that seeks to destroy America.

  Republicans are blind to everything except destroying this black man the people elected to be President of the United States.   Twice by vote of the people Barack Obama has been elected President.

Here's a number to think about, 500.   That's the total number of filibusters by Republicans on all subjects since Obama took office.   

Republicans should be very ashamed of their conduct and the people who vote for republicans should wise up.    Your foolish votes are responsible for the  demise of our country.   500 Filibusters.   These people aren't politicians or leaders, they are terriorst.

WASHINGTON — In a historic move, Democrats in the Senate on Thursday voted to eliminate the use of the filibuster as a tool to block presidential appointments, upending a decades-old precedent that gave the minority party unique leverage on nominations.

After threatening to change the rules several times this year, the Democratic majority pulled the trigger on the so-called nuclear option after a series of procedural maneuvers that played out before a packed chamber.    It would allow a president’s nominees, except for seats on the Supreme Court, to be confirmed by a simple majority, rather than the 60-vote threshold that had become the norm.

Fifty-two senators voted in favor of the changes, with 48 voting in opposition.

Just three Democrats — red-state Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, as well as veteran Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan — opposed the move.


Joe Manchin sees the abuse and acknowledges the problem however he is unwilling to do anything to correct the situation.   Joe likes to spread his vote so thin that he can later claim to be for anything and claim to support everybody.   Joe Manchin simply lacks the courage to take a side on an issue, any issue.   Joe  "No Stand"  Manchin issued this release written by an unknown member of his staff.   Here is the Manchin Statement on Voting Against Change of Senate Filibuster Rules.

Date: Nov. 21, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement on why he voted against changing Senate filibuster rules:

"All West Virginians and Americans deserve a government that works for them, and I completely understand their frustration with the partisan gridlock in Washington. It has become increasingly clear to me that both parties have abused the filibuster by using it to gain political advantage, instead of truly debating an issue. With this in mind, I offered a commonsense compromise that would have allowed the President to put his team in place, but required greater consideration for nominees whose posts outlasted the President.    I was willing to support modest changes to make the system more efficient, but my proposal was rejected.     I voted against the rules changes today because they simply went too far.    I firmly believe that the filibuster is a vital protection of the minority views and exactly why the Framers of our Constitution made the Senate the "cooling saucer.'    As the late, great Robert C. Byrd himself said in the months before his death,  "While I welcome needed reform, we must always be mindful of our responsibility to preserve this institution's special purpose.'

"It's past time to fix Congress and make the legislative process work in a way that puts the American people ahead of petty politics.    It's past time Congress begins working together to move this country forward."

Beautiful words Joe but nothing backing them up!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued that the change was needed in the face of unprecedented Republican obstruction of nominees, which prevented the president from fulfilling his constitutional duty to fill vacancies in the courts, as well as in his administration.

More broadly, he argued that the Senate threatened to become “obsolete”  if it did not act to end gridlock.

“The gridlock has consequences,”  he said in opening the debate. “It’s not only bad for President Obama, bad for this body, the United States Senate, it’s bad for our country.”

Reid acknowledged that neither party’s hands were “clean” in the fight.   When Democrats were in the minority nearly two decades ago, they fiercely resisted a Republican attempt to make the same rule change Democrats implemented Thursday.

But times had changed, he argued.

“Can anyone say that the Senate is working now?”  he asked.  “I don't think so.”

In the short term, the Democrats’ action paves the way for the confirmation of Obama’s three pending appointments to the important D.C. Circuit court, beginning with Patricia Millett, whose nomination was the vehicle for Thursday’s action.    Democrats could also apply the rule change to other executive nominations that have been blocked, like Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The long-term consequences are less clear.   The Democrats’ move amounts to a gamble that Republicans will not regain both the White House and control of the Senate by 2016.    If they did, the GOP would likely abide by the same new rules to confirm nominees opposed by Democrats.

Looming more immediately is a possible vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court that would occur during Obama’s final years in office.    Democrats’ decision to exempt high court appointments from the rules change might nonetheless give Republicans additional motivation to block whomever he chooses.




 Senate Democrats dropped the filibuster bomb Thursday, and now the question is what kind of fallout will result from the so-called nuclear option.

By a  52 - 48  vote, the Senate ended the ability of minority Republicans to continue using filibusters to block some of President Barack  Obama's  judicial and executive nominations, despite the vehement objections of Republicans.

Majority Democrats then quickly acted on the change by ending a filibuster against one of Obama's nominees for a federal appeals court.

Obama later cited what he called  "an unprecedented patter of obstruction in Congress"  during his presidency for the move led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to re-fight the results of an election is not normal,"   Obama said of the change.    "And for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal."

Republicans warned the controversial move would worsen the already bitter partisan divide in Washington, complaining it took away a time-honored right for any member of the Senate minority party to filibuster.

"This changes everything, this changes everything," veteran GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona told reporters.    He blamed newer Democratic senators who never served as the minority party for pushing the issue, adding:    "They succeeded and they will pay a very, very heavy price for it."

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called Thursday's maneuvering a diversion from the problem-plagued ACA issue that has been giving the White House and Democrats political headaches.    Odds are increasing that McConnell will not be re-elected.

"You'll regret this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think,"   McConnell warned".

CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger said Democrats seem to believe that things couldn't get much worse, with judicial vacancies 
increasing and Republicans increasing their use of filibusters after an agreement earlier this year that cleared some presidential 

"I think there is probably a little bit of  'calling your bluff'  going on here;   that Harry Reid basically threw up his hands and said, 
enough of this, it's time to do it,"  Borger said.    Now, she added, the question was whether angry Republicans would further harden their positions in the already bitter political climate which she said "will get worse."

Thursday's change affected presidential executive nominations such as ambassadors and agency heads, along with judicial nominations except for Supreme Court appointees.

It did not affect the ability of Republicans to filibuster legislation.

Under the old rules, it took 60 votes to break a filibuster of presidential nominees.    The change means a simple Senate majority of 51 now suffices in the chamber Democrats currently control with a 55-45 majority.

"It's time to get the Senate working again," the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor.    "Not for the good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican majority, but for the good of the United States of America. It's time to change.    It's time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete."

Reid followed through on threats dating back years after Republicans blocked three judicial nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, known as the highest court in the land after the Supreme Court.

Veterans such as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who had been opposed to the nuclear option to change the Senate rules, recently decided to back Reid's move.    Feinstein and others, like fellow Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said things were so broken in Washington that the nuclear option was the only way to fix it.    Let's face it something has to be done to end this sick republican game.

Amherst, VA News

Nelson County, VA News

Lynchburg, VA News


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cocaine Cowboys, The GOP and Tea Party Trey Radel

Henry Jude  "Trey"  Radel III is an American GOP,  Tea Party Right Wing Conservative politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives, from Florida's 19th congressional district.    He is newly elected as of 2013 and  his nickname is the Cocaine Cowboy.   There is nothing he won't do for coke, nothing.

       Campaigning High, Feeling Good Trey?

Trey Radel, Busted On Cocaine Charge, Voted For Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients.

Florida Rep. Republican Trey Radel Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Possession.

The headlines are numerous and not at all unusual for the republican Party.

             Trey is the Happiest Congressman in the World

Florida Republican congressman Trey Radel appeared in a Washington, D.C., court today and pled guilty to one count of cocaine possession.Radel, who admitted to being an addict, was placed on one year probation with "minimal supervision."    He promised to seek treatment.

"Your honor, I apologize for what I've done," the congressman said to Judge Robert Tignor in a low voice.    "I have hit the bottom ... I realize I need help and have aggressively sought the help... I am so sorry to be here.    I know that I've let my constituents down, my country down, and most importantly my family, including my 2-year-old who doesn't know it yet."

Radel, 37, said he is seeking treatment so he can "be a better man, a better husband, and continue serving this country."

The freshman congressman was the target of an undercover sting operation, prosecutors told the court.

Radel, according to sources, first came on the radar of federal authorities when a suspected cocaine dealer under investigation by a joint Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI task force told agents that one of his customers was the Florida congressman.

According to prosecutors, confidential sources told authorities that Radel had purchases cocaine "on several occasions" for his own use, and "on occasion" would share that cocaine with others. 

  I did a line about that long.     You'd think this was a fish story if Trey hadn't pleaded guilty.

About 10 p.m. on Oct 29, Radel met a confidential source and an undercover law enforcement officer at a Washington restaurant, prosecutors said. At the restaurant, Radel told the two that he had cocaine back at his apartment and said they could go back and use some, according to testimony.

They declined the offer to share coke with Radel, but the undercover officer said he could sell 3.5 grams to Radel, prosecutors said. 

Outside the restaurant, Radel gave the undercover $260, and then inside a car, the undercover gave Radel the cocaine, according to prosecutors.

Radel and other members of the Republican Party support drug testing for poor women and children on food stamsp.   The average food stamp amount is $113.00 for the entire month.   Radel spent more than twice that amount on coke and gladely accepts his $170,000 a year tax payer paid salary.   Like so many of his GOP and Tea Party associates Radel is a hypocrite and a criminal.

When Radel stepped outside of the car, federal authorities approached him. He dropped the bag of cocaine on the street. Radel admitted to authorities that he bought cocaine. Ultimately he and authorities went back to his apartment, where Radel retrieved another vial of cocaine and gave it to authorities, they told the court.

"What did you believe you were purchasing?" the judge asked Radel.

"A drug. Cocaine. I plead guilty," the congressman replied.

Radel's lawyer David Schertler told the court, "He has a disease... He recognizes that this isn't a problem that is going away overnight."

DEA Special Agent in Charge Karl Colder said in a statement after Redal's court appearance, We want young people to see the price people pay for drug abuse and trafficking in cases like this so they will resolve to live drug-free lives."

In sentencing Radel to probation, Tignor noted that for the congressman it was a first-time offense and probation gives Radel and others like him an opportunity "to prove themselves."

What Are the Effects of Cocaine?

The drug creates a strong sense of exhilaration. Users generally feel invincible, carefree, alert, euphoric and have a lot of energy. This is usually followed by agitation, depression, anxiety, paranoia and decreased appetite. The effects of cocaine generally last about two hours.   The right wing conservative paranoia generally follows them to the grave

A check of sentences shows that the Congressman got a special Extra Light Deal from the court.    Should you be picked up for the same offense expect  180 days in jail and a $2,500 fine along with the loss of your voting rights.


Here's the Inside View of How Republicans Think About Voters and Citizens.    These Congressmen sleep in their offices and shower in the House Gym to save the cost of renting a place in Washington so they can keep all of their $170,000 salary.    

They work 3 days a week and accomplish absoutely nothing.   They sell their votes to big groups for contributions to their next campaign.    A balanced system to them is getting money from the rich to protect them from the poor and votes from the poor to protect them from the rich.   

They continually trade on inside information and exempt themselves from the rules and laws they saddle the normal people with.   After wasting years and doing nothing to create jobs and boost the economy, now GOP Lawmakers Suggest the Unemployed Are On Drugs.

At least two Republican lawmakers suggested that many unemployed Americans could find work, if only they weren’t on drugs or too lazy.    The lawmakers bemoan the cushiness of the welfare state and say that companies are having trouble finding workers who can pass a drug test.

At a town hall meeting in Russellville, Ark. Republican Rep. Steve Womack said a number of employers have told him that they can’t find enough workers who will take drug tests and that potential employees say they don’t want to take a job “until my unemployment runs out.” 

What does Womack have to say about the GOP Cocaine Cowboy?

Rep. Womack continued, “What does that say about our country?  I mean, I’m a big believer in giving a hand up to people that are down and out and need something.   That need temporary assistance.

“We have created such dependency in a lot of these government programs that it’s more convenient and more lucrative for you not to work and to receive these benefits than it is for you to roll up your sleeves, do it the American way, be a productive citizen, get off of the welfare rolls, be a productive citizen — and that’s a twofer every time, it’s one person less drawing benefits and one person more contributing to the overall economy. Now, I am a huge believer, as a Christian, that we need to be helping people that can’t help themselves.   Notice I said can’t help themselves.    I don’t feel so strongly for people that won’t help themselves.”

And in Jackson, Ohio a constituent told Republican Rep. Bill Johnson that her cousin has a drug problem and has been selling her welfare checks to buy drugs.   She wondered if the government could set up a system of random drug tests for people on welfare to stop that. 

Johnson responded:  “Sure, believe it or not, we actually passed some legislation in 2011 to do exactly that. It was part of unemployment compensation reform….   But there are employers up and down the river in Ohio that say ‘I can’t find workers because the kind of job that we need them to do — I can’t find people that can pass the drug test.’    And those people will come in and they will find out they gotta take a drug test and they’ll even leave and won’t take the drug test but they’ll use that employer sign-off to go back and stay on unemployment.   They’ll use their unemployment checks for buying their drugs.”

Indeed, in 2011 the GOP-controlled House passed a bill that would allow states to drug test people before they get unemployment insurance benefits.  It died in the Senate, but it came after a number of states passed their own versions.   The issue has largely died since then, until now.

Florida started requiring that all applicants for welfare and unemployment benefits be tested in early 2011 (a federal judge later stopped the practice, calling it unconstitutional).   As it turned out, just 2.5 percent of applicants failed the test, which, as Arthur Delaney pointed out, is far lower than national average illicit drug use rate of 8.7 percent.   The program actually ended up costing more money than it saved because of how few people the state caught using drugs.

Average unemployment benefits are about $300 per week.   Though it varies widely depending on the state and individual, it’s not exactly cushy.

Perhaps Bill has some thoughts to share on the GOP Cocaine Cowboy?

A spokesperson for Johnson said, “the congressman was addressing a specific issue and reassuring this young constituent that he has also heard of situations similar to hers.” She added that Jackson County, where the town hall was held, “has one of the most severe drug abuse populations in the state of Ohio,” as does neighboring Scioto County.

Rep. Johnson himself added:  “While the vast majority of people on unemployment are honest, law-abiding and aggressively looking for jobs, the handful of drug users abusing the system are beginning to create a problem that ought to be addressed.    Most of our unemployment problem stems from over regulation, over-taxation and the Bush economy, but we should be examining all the factors surrounding this issue — even when it’s just a handful of people abusing the system.”

Womack’s office was not able to immediately provide a statement, but we’ll update with it as soon as we get it.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Rep. Womack sent this:

“Congressman Womack was echoing the concerns and experiences from local employers and understands that our unemployment problem is both serious and complex.    He also understands that this is not the norm.    However, he wholeheartedly believes we should address those who abuse the system to the detriment of everyone else.”


Amherst County Virginia Democratic News 
                    Thumbs Up To Our New Governor  
                                   Terry McAuliffe

 Protect The Earth 

 Vote Democrat

Friday, November 8, 2013

Do You Have Any Thoughts (of your own) to Share?

                             I Don't Know, I haven't been online today.

Rand Paul would like to share his thoughts on America with you.   He'd like to but he can't,  Rand doesn't have personal thoughts.   Rand has even laid claim to the thoughts of  The Southern Avenger and presented them as his own.   The bulk of what Paul says comes from Wikipedia.   If no one has written an article about it and published it on the Wikipedia then Rand Paul must stand mum on the subject.   

In Rand Pauls autobiography "How I Learned to Pick Locks, do  straight jacket escapes and became Harry Houdini,"  Rand details his famous milk bottle escape.   In the backwoods of Kentucky Rand is more famous than his brother the turtle man.

                                                           Where are my pills?

The other day Rand Paul got mad and said he didn't need politics or his ethics questioned.   Paul said he could go home to Bolling Green and open his doctor's practice again and be completely happy.   To take a look at Paul's medical credentials I am printing this terrific article from Crooks and Liars, John Amato's blog.   It is old, written when Paul was running in the primary to get the opportunity to run for the Senate.   It also reveals that the average tea party thinker is slightly less quick than a wet river rock.   I was just being kind 
when I said slightly less quick, I meant noticeably slower.

Down With Tyranny, by John Amato     approx. June 2010

Well, even apart from the character issue-- I mean who wants another liar in the Senate, let alone operating on your eyes?-- it so happens that Paul, who's been sued for malpractice a couple of times  (paying off one ex-patient $50,000 to get him to go away) and that the Kentucky Board of Medical License has never sanctioned him!

This story is just completely insane.

                                       The Hacks and the Haters are after me.

Rand Paul, who touts his career as a Kentucky eye doctor as part of his outsider credentials in his campaign for U.S. Senate, isn't 
certified by his profession's leading group.

He tried Monday to bat away questions about it by calling it an attack on his livelihood, saying the scrutiny stems from his challenge of a powerful medical group over a certification policy he thought was unfair.

The libertarian-leaning Republican helped create a rival certification group more than a decade ago.    He said the group has since re-certified several hundred ophthalmologists, despite not being recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties – the governing group for two dozen medical specialty boards.  

                                                I See It All, Clearly Now

Questions about Paul's certification as an eye surgeon first arose in a story published Sunday in The Courier-Journal of Louisville.

This man is a quack.    The ABMS isn't a government agency that he's railing against because they want to control his life and it's not like he had to take a big test every year or so to keep his certification.    It's every ten years.    Isn't it nice that an organization formed to make sure opthamologist keep current with advancements in their field and know all about any new advancement?

The American Board of Medical Specialties said board certification is important because it enables "patients to determine whether their 
physicians were appropriately trained and knowledgeable in their specialties."

Instead he starts his own rival group "National Board of Ophthalmology."

He is listed as the group's president;   his wife, Kelley, is listed as vice president;   and his father-in-law is listed as secretary.    Paul 
and his relatives receive no salaries from the organization, his campaign said.


Are you laughing yet?      His family are the board members.

He then is completely dishonest.    He knows what he's doing with his own practice.

In an interview with The Courier-Journal shortly before the May 18 Republican primary, which he won, Paul said he was certified by both ophthalmology boards.

A spokesman subsequently said that Paul misspoke because the question was unclear and he acknowledged his certification by the American Board had lapsed.    There is no indication that Paul isn't qualified to practice ophthalmology, which he has done in Bowling Green since moving to Kentucky in 1993

And there's something weird going on here because he's practicing in a hospital when he's supposed to be a board certified.

I'm so tired I can't remember the answers the Southern Avenger wrote for me.

Board certification isn't required to practice medicine in Kentucky, but most hospitals either prefer or require that doctors be board-
certified.    That includes The Medical Center and Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green, where Paul practices.

Why is he practicing there?    Anyway, this is a man that the rules just don't apply to, ever.

As Joseph Gerth writes in his column:   Rand Paul creates mistrust by refusing to answer questions about ophthalmology certification.
Then, his campaign, which had been shielding him from answering questions for five days at that point, announced that all questions on the issue would have to be submitted in writing.

Rand Paul misses the point.    He is right that the questions about his National Board of Ophthalmology have nothing to do with issues of national policy.

They have nothing to do with the federal debt.    They have nothing to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.    And they have nothing to do with plans to shutter the U.S. Department of Education.

They have to do with trust.

                                              I will run for President

Patients have come to expect that a doctor who holds himself out as a "board certified" specialist, as Paul does, meets rigorous standards created by an independent body?

And, if the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association, the Kentucky Board of Medical License and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists don't recognize Paul's National Board of Ophthalmology, exactly what are the standards required for certification by that board?    You can find the requirements of the American Board of Ophthalmology at    Paul's group maintains no such website.

Why should people trust him to represent them honestly in Congress when he's a huckster in real life?

ACV Democratic News


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Democrat Terry McAuliffe Wins VA Gov

Democrat Terry McAuliffe Wins Virginia Governor Race by 54,548 votes, With 99% reporting

   McAuliffe   1,062,212  47.9%   ✓

            Cuccinelli                 1,007,664       45.5%
                    Sarvis                            146,166        6.6%

Here's a quick word from Terry for the readers of the ACV Democratic News.

We did it,  ACVDN!!!!!

Last night, I had the privilege of thanking hundreds of supporters and volunteers in person at our Election Night party and I took a moment to quote one of my Virginia political heroes.

Thomas Jefferson devoted his first inaugural address to bridging partisan divides after a bitterly contested campaign,  saying  "every 
difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.    We have called by different names brethren of the same principle."

Two centuries later, I know that's still true.    Our differences of opinion aren't often a difference of principle or goal.

Over the next four years, Democrats and Republicans and Independents in Richmond can work together to make Virginia a model for pragmatic leadership.

We can build great schools and invest in a modern transportation system.    We can make sure Virginia is welcoming to everyone — regardless of race, religion, gender, or whom you love.

But all of that is only possible if Virginia is a model for  bipartisan cooperation.

This was a hard fought race.    But it is important to recognize that while Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and I have big differences on a lot of issues, he is a principled man.     I thank him for his service and dedication.

So while I promise you that I will be Governor for all Virginians,  the real test is my actions when I take office.    I expect you to hold me to my pledge to work with both sides.

And I hope that once we have started to make bipartisan progress on critical issues like jobs and education, that I can earn your trust.

Finally, I wanted to make sure I had the chance to thank you and all of my supporters for everything you've done.     Last night — and the next four years — wouldn't have been possible without you.

ACV Democratic News Readers— "thank you for the honor of electing me to serve as your 72nd governor."


Democratic state Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Republican E.W. Jackson for Virginia's lieutenant governor.

Obama Phones Winners In Virginia

President Barack Obama has phoned Terry McAuliffe, winning candidates in the Virginia governor's race.   

The White House says he congratulated McAuliffe on his election victory and vowed to work with him in the months ahead to expand economic opportunity for middle-class families in Virginia communities.

Tara and Simone.     Both are members of S B Young Democrats, Simone is the President.

The crowd watched with great interest as the vote totals slowly built.

Lynn is an adviser to the S B Young Democrats

McAuliffe  took the lead for the first time of the evening and never looked back.    The crowd was getting lively.

Wolf and the CNN News Team Projected Terry McAuliffe the winner and next Governor of Virginia.

Terry and the Big Dog had put in a lot of 16 hour days and this one was in the bag.

ACV Democratic News

Women were important to the campaign.

The Virginia attorney general’s race was a virtual dead heat and headed for a recount early Wednesday morning, with Democratic State Sen. Mark Herring clinging to a 541-vote lead over Republican State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain with 2.2 million ballots cast, according to unofficial results posted by the state board of elections.

With 99.92 percent of the vote tallied, the margin between the two candidates was a scant .03 percent. State election law provides for the trailing candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than 1 percent of the total vote.

Obenshain is dangerous, a truly far fringe nutjob right-wing social conservative, all women should be concerned in the event he wins. 
Obenshain is a Republican warrior against women, a real misogynistic.  

Democratic State Sen. Mark Herring is clinging to a 541-vote lead 
over Republican State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain with 2.2 million ballots cast, according to unofficial results posted by the state board of elections.   I'm keeping positive for a clean sweep by the Democrats.

The Republican Obenshain introduced a bill in 2009 that stated "that if a miscarriage occured without medical attendance, the woman would be required to report the "fetal death, location of the remains, and the identity of the mother" to the local or state police department. 

If she failed to do this within 24 hours, the bill would find the woman guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.   A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of “confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500”.  

This shows that Obershain is  anti-women.  The miscarriage is hard enough to deal with and this nutjob wants to connect that trajedy with criminal penalties.   Now women can be criminalized for losing their babies and being so stressed they fail to take Obenshain's  GOP required actions withing 24 hours. 

Who actually votes for people like Obenshain?     Republicans should be on the endangered species list.    That this nutjob could become Virginia's AG is disturbing.    What type of screwed up person supports this type of Law?     How mucked up do you have to be to think this way?

As soon as this story has a conclusion I will update it.

A Short Note From The FLOTUS

Hello and Thank You Virginia

To ACV Democratic Readers:

One year ago, all of our hard work and sacrifice paid off, and we made sure Barack got a second term as president to finish the work all of us started together.

I didn't just support him because he's my husband -- I supported him because I believe in his vision to lead this country forward and 
create a better future for our two girls.

Everyone who stood with Barack had their own reasons for doing so, whether it was to rebuild an economy that works for the middle class, to follow through on the promise of affordable health care, or to improve access to higher education. We all had something that drove us, and we came together to get the job done.

But just as none of us could elect Barack on our own, he can't finish the job by himself.    He needs leaders in Congress and in state 
capitals around the nation to help him continue moving our country forward.

So today, a year after Barack was elected to his second term, I'm renewing my commitment to support a group of leaders who share Barack's values.    I hope you will join me in putting your support behind Democrats in the year to come:

Click to Get FIRED-UP

Thank you for your faith in us, last year and in the years ahead,


P.S. -- I'm still fired up, and I'm still ready to go. Are you?

Terry McAuliffe's efficiency plan will:

Save millions of taxpayer dollars through operational efficiencies.    There remain significant targeted opportunities to save money by proactively rooting out inefficiencies and correcting them.    Terry will bring his business and management experience to bear, bringing best practices from the private sector to be an aggressive steward of taxpayer funds.

Reduce government expenditure on energy.    Previous governors have made tremendous progress in reducing the Commonwealth’s expenditure on energy costs.    Yet in fiscal year 2013 the Commonwealth spent $188 million on energy just to heat, cool and light our buildings.    Terry will use the latest technologies and strategies, such as performance consulting, to continue to reduce energy consumption.   This makes good environmental sense and good sense for the taxpayer.   Even a modest 10% saving would save the citizen taxpayers millions each year.    Specific strategies would include:

Increase on-site generation where appropriate.    Environmentally friendly on-site Combination Heat and Power (CHP) energy generation at government facilities, supplemented with solar panels, will continue to play a significant role in Virginia’s strategy to reduce energy costs.    These services should be contracted on a “pay if you save” basis or funded through bonds repaid directly from savings where possible to avoid any costs to taxpayers.

Contract with performance experts.    Implement more aggressive use of Performance Consulting (PC) whereby state agencies partner with Energy Savings Companies (ESCOs) to develop individualized saving plans for every public building in the Commonwealth.

Implement a statewide energy dashboard to track progress.    Virginia should build on the model used by Missouri, which implemented statewide technology infrastructure to track energy use at all government buildings in real time.     Like on-site generation, this service should be contracted on a “pay if you save” basis.

Continue to work aggressively with local governments to reduce energy use.    Recruiting localities to participate in a statewide energy performance contracting would improve Virginia’s negotiating position and save taxpayer funds at multiple levels of government, including local school systems, local governments, regional services (such as regional jails), and state government.

Reduce state employee travel expenditures.    Following the recommendation of Governor McDonnell’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, Terry will implement a statewide online portal for managing travel requests and reimbursements.    Agencies should be required to use this service unless they can present compelling justification for opting out. 

Higher education institutions, localities, and other political subdivisions will be given the option to participate.    This will:

Reduce staff time spent on administrative tasks

More effectively find the cheapest travel option

Improve compliance and management reporting

Enable volume travel discounts

Create additional targeted saving strategies similar to those outlined above around other operational expenditures such as:  water usage ($35 million per year), postage ($34 million per year), trash removal ($10 million per year), subscriptions ($6.2 million per year) and 
overnight package delivery ($6 million per year), etc.

Implement technology-driven asset management strategies.    Private sector companies around the world are making use of advanced technology-driven practices to keep track of supply chains, inventory, and fixed assets.    The Commonwealth should make use of these strategies to more effectively make repair and procurement decisions in real time.

Improve governmental responsiveness to citizens and businesses.    Government employees and agencies must remain squarely focused on the  “customer”  for government services: Virginia’s citizens and businesses.    Accordingly, Terry supports commonsense reforms that make the Commonwealth more responsive to these end users.

Putting additional permits and transactions online.    Terry will push hard for a stronger emphasis on speeding up permit applications and other transactions by putting their processes online.    If major business transactions can take place online there’s no reason more simple governmental functions can’t also be easily taken care of online.    This initiative will require that the traditional way of thinking about service to our citizens must change.

Move state government interactions to mobile platforms.       Virginians spend millions of hours each year interacting with state agencies, whether it is applying for a driver’s license, checking on the status of a tax refund, registering for social services, or applying for a building permit or professional license.     Smartphone technology now offers citizens the ability to conduct all of this business on their mobile phones safely and securely, wherever and whenever they want.    Using this technology, the McAuliffe Administration will substantially reduce the time and cost to apply for and receive government services, or check the status of a pending application or license without interrupting Virginians’ busy schedules.

Expand customer service training for government employees. Beginning at the top, Terry will require all agencies to develop comprehensive procedures and training for all government employees who interface with the public.   All Virginia public employees should be trained to promptly, professionally, and courteously address citizen concerns.    Any deviations from courteous and friendly customer service should be easily reportable and dealt with quickly by supervisors.

Simplify call center operations.    Virginians should not get the run-around when they call their government.    Terry will require agencies to empower front line workers to resolve issues and reduce the number of transfers and transactions it takes to complete a call.

Create a Statewide  “311″  service and improve call center performance.    Cities and counties across the Commonwealth and across the nation are successfully providing basic customer services and addressing citizen concerns via these hotlines.   Virginians should be able to better interact with their state government and share concerns via call, text, and mobile.   The Commonwealth needs to look at better integrating call center operations by developing one or more “cross agency” call centers:

Place the integrated call center(s) in a strategic locality.    By carefully planning and locating the call center in a locality with high unemployment we can insure a stable workforce and by having more than one center we can ensure continuity of operations in disaster scenarios.

Streamline government and improve management at the highest levels.    Terry will use his background in business to improve management and decision-making at the highest levels of Virginia government.

Revive the Governor’s Management Study.    Terry will revive Governor Holton’s  Management Study, which loaned executives from Virginia’s leading companies to assist in improving Virginia government management.    Terry will update this study with a similar loaned executive approach as well as experts from Virginia’s colleges and universities.

Streamline and focus the cabinet.    Virginia’s cabinet has become overly complex since its inception.    While many of the additions and alterations have been well meaning attempts at improving the government, some create duplicative roles or misallocate areas of responsibility.

Centralize responsibility for Homeland Security with the Secretary of Public Safety.    While the Secretary of Public Safety has operational responsibility for Virginia’s first responders, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs manages certain citizen boards relating to homeland security.    This creates unclear lines of authority in an area where we can least afford them.    Terry will make it clear that the Secretary of Public Safety is the designated cabinet official to respond to homeland security threats and natural disasters.

Refocus the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security will be renamed the Secretary of Veterans and Military Affairs, in recognition of the vital role that the military plays in Virginia’s economy.

Terry will empower this cabinet official to care for Virginia’s veterans, ensure smooth working relationships between military installations and state and local government, and shape Virginia’s response to a potential new round of BRAC – an important economic threat to the Commonwealth.

Operate the cabinet and state agencies along a corporate model.    Virginia should move toward a system in which cabinet officials are the chief executives of the agencies they oversee, not merely policy coordinators as has been the model.    This will correspond with an effort to recast the cabinet on a more functional, corporate model – with the Chief of Staff playing a COO role and the Secretary of Finance playing a CFO role.

Reduce unfunded mandates on local government.    Terry will reform the relationship between the states and local government.   Virginians can’t afford to have their property taxes increased as a result of irresponsible budget choices made in Richmond.    As governor, Terry will work to ensure that legislators live within their means and stop passing down unfunded mandates on local governments that force them to raise taxes.

Support local government budgets.   Create a high-level  “Local Government Advisory”  committee to meet regularly with the Office of the Governor to coordinate state and local government relationships and exchange policy ideas.

Create a petition process for fiscal review of legislation with local impact.    Terry will work with the Commission on Local Government to create a process by which local governments can request directly from the Commission a fiscal analysis of proposed legislation that they believe would impose unfunded or underfunded mandates on localities and school divisions.

Establish Intergovernmental Councils within key agencies. Localities and key state agencies must engage in robust regional cooperation and be part of an on-going conversation about local mandates.    A strong locality-agency relationship would clearly identify local mandates and find ways to simplify or streamline their implementation.    Terry will establish Intergovernmental Councils at the agencies with most impact on local government to serve as the framework for these discussions.

Thank You, Virginia, for this opportunity to serve.


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