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 26, 2014

Announcing Regular Phone Banks and Canvassing, Amherst Dems

Announcing Regular Phone Banks and Canvassing for the re-election of Senator Mark Warner.

         Amherst Democratic News

The Phone Banks will be located at The Braxton Lodge, 2622 Galt’s Mill Road, Madison Heights (opposite Scott Zion Church).

          Amherst Democratic News

Starting Tuesday Nov., 4th and continuing twice weekly until Election Day.    Every Tuesday and Thursday 6 PM to 8:30 PM  (Bring your own Cell Phone or use ours.)

        Amherst Democratic News

We will also be Canvassing Every Saturday starting at 1 PM.     For information call Ned Kable at 434-989-2846 

         Amherst Democratic News

Refreshments will be available!       Lets re-hire Mark Warner to represent our interests in Washington.

        Amherst Democratic News

Ned Kable

        Amherst Democratic News
Chair, Amherst County Democratic Committee

Amherst Democratic News
Gillespie at the Carnival
     A Winning Smile and an Honest Face can Take You a long way.

Republican Ed Gillespie was hucking and shucking, shaking hands with his right, handing out palm cards with his left and smiling all the while like there was no place he’d rather be on a sweltering August evening than the 101st Chesterfield County Fair — and nothing he’d rather be doing than touting his “five-point magic plan for economic 
growth and job creation.”    Gullespie also has a plan to reduce the cost per gallon of gas and another to end medicare as we know it and yet another to end the American Healthcare Act, better known as Obama Care.

           Amherst Democratic News

Earlier when Gillespie met with the miners he touted his plan to burn more coal and to reduce regulations on coal production.

“If you like what you see and like what I say, I’d love to have your vote in November," Ed bellowed at the passing crowds of fair goers.   "Together we can change the world back to when we had freedom.  Enjoy the fair,”     "Remember I rescue stray dogs."

Gillespie was moving from table to table in a pavilion.   At one point, he tried to turn down a cup of Italian ice, hoping to keep his hands free.   It did not work.    He was forced to engage in the old political game of eating whatever the voters are eating at that stop.

           Amherst Democratic News

Like many before him, Gillespie, a long time  GOP strategist and lobbyist, appears to have made the transition to candidate for public office while keeping the door open to return to lobbying if the voters don't see it his way.

Gillespie — is running as much as 25 points behind Sen. Mark R. Warner (D) in recent polls — Ed chose an uphill battle for his first race, a decision he has in common with lots of other politicians.   And just like other operatives who ran as long-shot aspirants, Gillespie has much to gain even if he loses in November.   You've got to have a long range plan if you want to keep the pay checks coming.    Ed explained that it's better to lose while running for a big office than to win running for a smaller more reasonable one.    If I ran and won for supervisor I'd get some experience in elected office but it wouldn't add much to my worth as a lobbyist.   Better to shoot for the moon, I might win.

After announcing his candidacy in January, Gillespie quickly began honing his skills on the campaign trail, building a network of donors to add to his lobbying supporter donations and raising his name recognition.   The experience could serve him well as far as building influence with other republicans in office, because there’s always the 
next time and always one more company that needs representation before congress to get the deal they want in relation to new laws.   For Gillespie, another big statewide  opportunity isn’t that far off.   The 2017 governor’s race could be his next run at elected office.    There is even an outside chance the GOP could choose him as their candidate for the presidency in 2016.

          Amherst Democratic News

Gillespie denies that he has his eye on the 2017 (Gov.) race, but in the meantime, he’s poised to step into the role of de facto leader of the Virginia GOP, which lacks any state wide officeholders.   The state party is bitterly divided along the lines of a national rift between establishment moderates bent on taking control of the U.S. Senate and grass-roots conservatives fed up with incumbents and frustrated by the ways of Washington.   The GOP is all but dead in Virginia state wide.

Gillespie briefly united the two sides when he handily won the state GOP nomination for the Senate seat in June, apparently convincing tea party activists and members of the country club set that he’s one of them.    Either Gullespie is ultra slick or the split interest of the Virginia GOP want desperately to believe and even more desperately to win any state wide office.    Gillespie hopes to get his money from the rich and big business and his votes from the poor and ill informed, the tried and true GOP way.

         Amherst Democratic News

Ed Rollins, the campaign strategist who managed President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign, said even if this race doesn’t go Gillespie’s way, he’s far from finished.   1984 and Ronald Reagan were 30 years ago and are the only recent thing the republicans have to talk about.   Maby Gillespie could kiss yesterday goodby and 
come up with a new idea, imagine that the republican party with a new idea.

“No one ever goes into the race saying, ‘I’m going to lose.’  Often, you learn lessons,”  Rollins said.  “Ed Gillespie has always had the ambition to do something big in Virginia.   Whether he makes it this time or next time or ever,  Ed dreams of becoming senator or governor one day.   Sometimes wishes really do come true.”

"I Like This Guy, there's a half a chance he was born in the USA and a somewhat smaller chance he'll win."   So Said the coulda been VP.

Unlike Rollins — who said he decided when writing his first smear and attack mailer at age 19 that “no one’s ever going to do this to me” — some political operatives can hardly wait to see their names on the yard signs once they see how the game is played.   Others take a more measured approach.   But one way or another, political careers generally begin behind the scenes and off the ballot.   How long before Gillespie and the GOP take the campaign negative?



Amherst Democratic News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

History of Health Care in America, ACVDN Looks Back

How the roots of the Affordable Care Act were sown over a hundred years ago.     Why Did it take so long,  who blocked the way?

 Former President Theodore Roosevelt champions national health insurance as he unsuccessfully tries to ride his progressive Bull Moose Party back to the White House.     1912

President Franklin D. Roosevelt favors creating national health insurance amid the Great Depression but decides to push for Social Security first.    1935

President Harry Truman calls on Congress to create a national insurance program for those who pay voluntary fees.   The American Medical Association denounces the idea as "socialized medicine" and it goes nowhere.     1945

John F. Kennedy makes health care a major campaign issue but as president can't get a plan for the elderly through Congress.     1960

President Lyndon B. Johnson's legendary arm-twisting and a Congress dominated by his fellow Democrats lead to creation of two landmark government health programs:   Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.     1965

President Richard Nixon wants to require employers to cover their workers and create federal subsidies to help everyone else buy private insurance.    The Watergate scandal intervenes.     1974

President Jimmy Carter pushes a mandatory national health plan, but economic recession helps push it aside.    1976

President Ronald Reagan signs COBRA, a requirement that employers let former workers stay on the company health plan for 18 months after leaving a job, with workers bearing the cost.    1986

Congress expands Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and catastrophic care coverage.    It doesn't last long.    Barraged by protests from older Americans upset about paying a tax to finance the additional coverage, Congress repeals the law the next year.      1988

President Bill Clinton puts first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in charge of developing what becomes a 1,300-page plan for universal coverage.    It requires businesses to cover their workers and mandates that everyone have health insurance.   The plan meets Republican opposition, divides Democrats and comes under a fire-storm of lobbying from businesses and the health care industry.    It dies in the Senate.     1993

Clinton signs bipartisan legislation creating a state-federal program to provide coverage for millions of children in families of modest means whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.    1997

President George W. Bush persuades Congress to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare in a major expansion of the program for older people.      2003

Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes a sweeping health care plan in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.    She loses to Obama, who has a less comprehensive plan.     2008

President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress spend an intense year ironing out legislation to require most companies to cover their workers;   mandate that everyone have coverage or pay a fine;   require insurance companies to accept all comers, regardless of any pre-existing conditions;   and assist people who can't afford insurance.      2009

With no Republican support, Congress passes the measure, designed to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. Republican opponents scorned the law as "Obamacare."     2010

On a campaign tour in the Midwest, Obama himself embraces the term "Obamacare" and says the law shows "I do care."         2012

Now if we can just keep the republicans from destroying it.

America Really Needs Obamacare, The Affordable Care Act

In a lot of big urban areas where a large share of residents lack health insurance, help isn't on the way.

Seven of the 11 large metro areas where the uninsured rate was higher than the 14.5 percent national average last year are located in states that refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.   Two are in Florida, three are in Texas, and the others are Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.  The metro area with the highest uninsured rate was Miami, at a staggering 25 percent, compared to the national low of 4 percent in greater Boston.

Here's a breakdown of the biggest metropolitan areas' uninsured rates before the Obamacare coverage expansion began, courtesy of figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

ACV Blog

The Affordable Care Act called for Medicaid benefits to be available to anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is about $11,500 for a single person this year.   Twenty-six percent of people with incomes in this range were uninsured last year, the Census reported.

To date, 23 states, mostly Southern, haven't adopted the expansion, despite generous federal funding. When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2012, justices also ruled the Medicaid expansion was optional for states.

What makes matters worse for the people left out of the Medicaid expansion is that another part of the Obamacare law permits only people who earn at least poverty wages to get financial help paying for private health insurance -- so those who earn less get nothing.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, those decisions not to expand the program will leave 4.8 million people uninsured. More than 1 million of them live in Texas, 764,000 are in Florida, 409,000 are Georgia residents and 319,000 live in North Carolina.

Four other large metro areas that the Census Bureau reported had higher-than-average uninsured rates are in states that expanded Medicaid this year: Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside, California, and Phoenix, Arizona.

In a survey published in July, the Commonwealth Fund found that the states that expanded Medicaid saw a combined drop in the uninsured rate for people with incomes below poverty from 28 percent to 17 percent after the first round of Obamacare enrollment. In the states that didn't, the share without health coverage was 36 percent -- barely changed from before.

A Gallup-Healthways survey from August also revealed wide variation between Obamacare's effect on the uninsured rate between states that cooperated with the law's implementation, such as by expanding Medicaid, and those that didn't.


Amherst Democratic News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Democratic Committee Phone Banks for Senator Mark Warner

Phone Bank Kickoff  

                          Senator Warner  and  Chairman Kable

Let's let our DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS and NEIGHBORS know this is  "WARNER COUNTRY".   We need their vote.    Mark is working hard to represent and keep Virginia moving forward, lets work for him to ensure his re-election.

Come and gather with your friends, enjoy some refreshments.   It's time to remind the neighbors the election is just around the corner and we need their vote.



Bring Your CELL PHONE or use ours.  Remind folks they need a PHOTO ID TO VOTE, tell them how to get one free.

If  you are  NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE, Come and fill out a VOTER REGISTRATION FORM and we'll get that matter taken care of.

Sign Up to Canvass for MARK WARNER on Saturday.

ACV Blog
Come one, Come all.  DEMOCRATS  Please Heed The Call.


You can Make a Difference.


Top Arizona GOP'er Russell Pearce Resigns after Sterilization Comments

The far-right former lawmaker who helped push Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law has resigned as a top official with the state GOP after making comments about sterilizing poor women.   Right wing conservatives dream of bringing these days back as a way to control the old, poor and women.

Russell Pearce, a former state senator, resigned as the party’s first vice chair late Sunday, the Arizona Republican Party announced.

On Saturday, the state Democratic Party highlighted comments Pearce made recently on his radio show.    Discussing the state’s public assistance programs, Pearce declared:

“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations…Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

The comments were  repudiated by Republican candidates for several statewide offices.     "I wouldn't have said it that way" one remarked while another said "Those aren't the words I would have used".

In a written statement, Pearce said that while discussing “abuses to our welfare system,” he referred to “comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author.”

“This was a mistake,” Pearce added. “This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.”

As Arizona Senate president, Pearce was the chief sponsor of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, passed in 2010, which has been called the strictest immigration law in the nation’s history.   He was removed from office in a 2011 recall election, before being appointed to the state GOP post.    After the voters recalled him GOP leadership appointed him to a state post, they call it representation.

Virginians and especially right wing republicans in the Lynchburg, Amherst areas might be a bit sensitive of this topic.   The right wing republican base in Amherst and Lynchburg is loaded with the members of the same groups that championed sterilization.   The fact is Virginia was the last state to discontinue this practice as it was the last in other modern changes.   Sodomy laws were fought for by the right wing republicans long after the Supreme Court declared the Virginia laws unconstitutional.   The last republican running for governor, while AG, filed appeal after appeal of the Supreme Court ruling on Virginia's sodomy laws.

Number of victims of sterilization

In total, 7325 individuals were sterilized in Virginia under its sterilization law. Of those sterilized about half were deemed “mentally ill” and the other half deemed “mentally deficient.” Approximately 62% of total individuals sterilized were female.   Some estimate the total number of sterilizations as high as 8,300 individuals (Dorr 2006, p. 382).

 Period during which sterilization occurred

Sterilization in Virginia occurred under state law between 1924 and 1979. It thus appeared to have continued such sterilizations longer than any other state (Landman 1932, pp. 83-4; Largent 2008, p. 80). There are known instances of eugenic sterilization before 1924 (Dorr 2008, p. 116).

Passage of law(s)

On March 20, 1924, Virginia SB 281, the “Eugenical Sterilization Act,” was signed into law (Landman 1932, pp. 83-4).

 Precipitating factors and processes

The white, Virginia elite of the time was immersed in the idea of perpetuating and protecting the purity of the “American race” (i.e., Anglo-Saxon Whites). This socioeconomic elite group wanted to maintain their “traditional Southern identity” while also embracing modern progressive ideology.    The eugenic movement offered an avenue to pursue both of these notions simultaneously.    Through the embrace of eugenics as a progressive science and ideology, Virginians were able to modernize their identity while maintaining the purity of their state through the coerced sterilization of minorities and undesirable whites alike (Dorr 2000, p. 262). 

Often, “mongrels” and “worthless” whites were collected in “mountain sweeps.”    This involved a sheriff of a nearby town driving into mountain villages and forcibly removing individuals and taking them to institutions where they would only be released upon submission to sterilization (Black 2003, pp. 3-8).    More often than not these individuals were unaware of the consequences of the procedures that they underwent.

The sterilization of Virginia resident Carrie Buck is perhaps the most infamous case of sterilization in not only Virginia but also the United States as a whole.    Buck was deemed “defective” and institutionalized in the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded four years after her mother was similarly institutionalized.   Buck was classified as “feeble-minded” after giving birth to an illegitimate child as a result of rape by relative of her foster family.   Her daughter was subsequently deemed feeble minded at the age of 6 months.”   Under accusations of hereditary defectiveness, Carrie Buck faced a series of trials and appeals used to legitimize her pending
sterilization.    She was defended by Aubrey Strode, a known supporter of sterilization, whose defense focused more on the potential benefits of Buck’s sterilization than the consequences.

On March 20, 1924 (the same day as the passage of SB 281, the “Eugenical Sterilization Act”) Virginia signed into law SB 219, the “Racial Integrity Act.” Under this piece of legislation it became “unlawful for any white person in [Virginia] to marry any [person] save a white person” (SB 219, Racial Integrity Act). The Racial Integrity Act garnered lots of public attention, allowing the Sterilization Law (written by Carrie Buck’s defense lawyer) to pass without much public notice (Lombardo 2008b, p. 100).    
ACV Blog

Groups targeted and victimized

To Virginians, there seemed to be little difference between the harm to society caused by minorities and the harm caused by undesirable whites.   During the time of sterilization, twenty-two percent of those sterilized were African American.    This is roughly proportionate to the twenty percent of the total population represented by African Americans.

In Virginia, sterilization rates were fairly proportionate to population representation (Dorr 2006, pp. 381-3).   For this reason a wide array of individuals became targets for sterilization, specifically “mongrels,” minorities and poor whites.    “Mongrels” are those who were considered to be of non-white heritage.   In the opinion of Virginia, non-white was defined as any individual with any ancestor of any race but Caucasian, excluding those with 1/16th or less Native American blood.

Additionally, institutionalized females who worked outside of the institution were sterilized at a higher rate than others due to their perceived risk of promiscuous interaction with the “normal” public (Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, p. 4). After World War II, the numbers of men becoming sterilized increased due to ex-soldiers’ mental problems and alcoholism (Brocato 2008, p. 113).

After Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, racist eugenics became more prominent.   The 1954 Supreme Court case brought a resurgence of racist eugenics called “Massive Resistance” to prevent desegregation (Dorr 2008, p. 196).

Racist eugenics once again came into discussion with the 1962 and 1964 proposed laws for punitive sterilization of welfare mothers with illegitimate children.    There was some fear that African, Far eastern, Indian, and African American populations were expanding far more rapidly than others, and these proposed laws were in part to target such communities (Dorr 2008, p. 196, 211). Even with the voluntary sterilization law, there was some concern that a woman might consent to being sterilized if strongly advised by a physician to do so.   This trust in physicians could have given them the power to influence women to undergo sterilization for ultimately eugenic purposes (Dorr 2008, p. 214).

Other restrictions placed on those identified in the law

On March 20, 1924 (the same day as the passage of SB 281, the “Eugenical Sterilization Act”) Virginia signed into law SB 219, the “Racial Integrity Act.” Under this piece of legislation to became “unlawful for any white person in [Virginia] to marry any [person] save a white person” (SB 219, Racial Integrity Act).

ACV Blog

 Pictured above is Albert Priddy, the Superintendent of the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded in Lynchburg, Virginia.    Priddy was an adamant supporter of the institutionalization of poor, unfit White Virginians deemed “feeble-minded” by the state.   As Superintendent, Priddy used his power to begin sterilizing individuals at his own whim before the passage of the Eugenical Sterilization Act of 1924.

 Between 1916 and 1917, he sterilized an estimated 80 women, not all of whom were diagnosed as mentally defective (Brocato 2008, p. 108).   In 1917, he was sued for the wrongful institutionalization and sterilization of a woman named Willie Mallory in Mallory v. Priddy.   Priddy won the case, but not without learning the perils of neglecting to follow protocol (Lombardo 2008b, p. 64- 77).

After the 1924 act was passed, Priddy was a key proponent in the sterilization of a Virginia Colony patient, Carrie Buck, in order to test the strength of sterilization legislation and set a precedent of its legality.   (The court case Buck v. Bell was originally Buck v. Priddy, however; Albert Priddy died before the case went into the appeals process and the Virginia Colony’s new Superintendent Dr. J.H. Bell replaced Priddy in the case during appeals.)    Priddy’s power and eugenic ideology was a key factor in the success of eugenics throughout Virginia (Claude Moore Health Sciences Library).

While there were many major other proponents of eugenics and sterilization in Virginia, it is important to note the influence of Walter Plecker, the University of Virginia, and of the journal Virginia Medical Monthly.    Walter Plecker, in his role as State Registrar at the Bureau of Vital Statistics, intended to maintain the purity of the states white race by classifying all residents in the state of Virginia by their race to prevent any intermarriage through the threat of prosecution of those who dissented (Black 2003, pp. 165-70). It was under the great influence of Plecker and his racist rhetoric that the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 became law (Lombardo 1996, p. 9).

Additionally, the University of Virginia acted as a highly respected educational institution that pushed the thought and science of eugenics through research and education.   In the words of Dr. H.E. Jordan, Dean of the Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia, “eugenics… will work the greatest social revolution the world has yet known… [for] it aims at the production and the exclusive prevelancy of the highest type of physical, intellectual and moral man within the limits of human protoplasm” (Claude Moore Health Sciences Library). Having a similar influence, the Virginia Medical Monthly published medical reports from superintendents of various Virginia institutions as a method to increase the loathing toward those deemed feeble-minded while also spreading eugenics theory and practice.   These proponents continued to condemn the  “unfit” to sterilization and with their continual insistence of the necessity of sterilization, public support grew (Noll 1995, p. 61).


Opposition outside of the Catholic Church appears to have been minimal throughout Virginia.   While Catholics opposed sterilization in any form because such mutilation is in direct violation of “Natural Law,” it seems that the strong Protestant, white supremacist ideology present throughout much of the South allowed for eugenic sterilizations to go nearly unquestioned (Windle 1965, p. 308).   Very little information pertaining to the opposition to sterilization is available prior to Charles Windle’s case study on the passage of sterilization legislation in Virginia during the 1962 legislative session. During this session, a bill requiring the compulsory sterilization of women with more than one illegitimate child who is also receiving welfare benefits died in committee debate (Windle 1965, pp. 306-7).   While the compulsory sterilization proposal failed, a voluntary sterilization bill during the same session passed by a large margin (Windle 1965, p. 307).   It is important to note that this legislation was considered nearly forty years after sterilization was first legalized in Virginia and public opinion allowed for compulsory sterilization in 1924.   Additionally, at the time these bills were considered, sterilization legislation was still on the books in Virginia.   Even the Buck v. Bell case had little to do with any opposition to sterilization.

Rather, this case was a ploy by eugenicists to set a nationwide standard of sterilization legality by taking appeals to the United States Supreme Court (Claude Moore Health Sciences Library). Moreover, Virginia is a traditionally agrarian state and sterilization legislation (when considered in 1962) was widely supported by individuals concerned with race relations and welfare in “poorer, nonurban areas with high proportions of nonwhites and of agricultural and manufacturing employment” (Windle 1965, p. 314).   The number of sterilizations that continued to occur into the 1970’s is a testament to the stronghold of eugenic ideology throughout the state. 

As you can see from history Virginia is just barely out of the stone age and the right wing lean of its citizens makes progress extremely hard and sometimes impossible.    The actions taken by the right wing in Virginia is little different from the population control measures committed by Adolph Hitler.     If that insults you, tough.    It is not a stretch.

Who is Ed Gillespie?

Gillespie, a veteran GOP operative, now splits his time between a Washington lobbying practice and his role in Virginia as the leader of a party seeking to climb its way back after a succession of electoral losses.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, Gillespie’s recently filed ethics forms show that he made $2,958,800 over the last year from his consulting firm, aptly named Ed Gillespie Strategies.

Though Gillespie was for many years a registered lobbyist, through his previous firm Quinn Gillespie, he dropped off the rolls when he departed to pursue other ventures.

Indeed, veteran lobbyists have deregistered en masse in recent years.   In a recent investigation for The Nation, I reported on this latest trend against transparency, with thousands of lobbyists dropping their registrations — owing to a lax enforcement regime and the growing realization in Washington that the current lobbying registration law is largely a joke.

Because of his non-registered status, however, most voters probably have little idea what Gillespie has been up to.   Using bankruptcy filings, I found one recent client paying Ed Gillespie Strategies several years ago:  Washington Mutual, the bank that failed in 2008.

The ethics forms filed this month provide a new window into Gillespie’s business, which represents not only some of the largest corporations in America, but also works with several of the largest lobbying entities inside the Beltway: American Petroleum Institute, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, AT&T, Bank of America, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Broadband for America, DCI Group, Facebook, Microsoft, RATE Coalition, The Brunswick Group, U.S. Telecom, Univision, and Walgreens.

Notably, the DCI Group is itself a lobbying firm, while the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance are trade associations that lobby heavily on their respective issues   (API, which represents ExxonMobil, Chevron, and other oil majors, lobbies on fossil fuel subsidies, the Keystone XL, and expanded drilling access;     ANGA , which represents the largest hydraulic fracturing companies in America, lobbies on fracking regulations, natural gas exports, and other liquefied natural gas regulations).   

Other Gillespie clients are essentially lobbying groups.  The RATE Coalition, for example, is a coalition of firms such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin seeking lower corporate tax rates.

For Gillespie, formerly a White House Communications Director for George W. Bush, the revolving door has swung many times — and with each swing, his clout and wealth have climbed.    If he wins election this year, his stock among the Beltway bandits on K Street is sure to rise for any future venture in the private sector.

The new disclosure of Gillespie’s clients also provides a new focus on the candidate’s issue platform.    Gillespie opposes the Affordable Care Act’s regulatory mandates, and has made the effort to repeal the law a central part of his campaign. How much of that opposition, one must wonder, may relate to his work for insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield?    On energy, Gillespie has attacked efforts to address climate change.    In light of this new client list, voters may be scratching their head when they try to distinguish Gillespie’s policy platform from the goals of his Big Oil benefactors at the American Petroleum Institute.

Gillespie is a right wing conservative GOP dream come true and I barely mentioned his connections to GW Bush.


Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Amherst Democratic News





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.

ACV Blog
ACV Blog
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ACV Blog
          Amherst Democratic News

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
Drug Convictions are now in the Non-Violent category.

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

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.

            Amherst Democratic News

       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.”

                                     Amherst Democratic News
                                   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.”

           Amherst Democratic News
             "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.


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