Category: 2015 General Election (Page 1 of 4)

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Barbara Comstock


October 8, 2015

CONTACT: Morgan Finkelstein,, 804-335-0967

In Case You Missed It:

The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics against twenty-three Members, including Rep. Barbara Comstock for violating 31 U.S.C. § 1301 and House ethics rules prohibiting official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes.

Rep. Comstock violated these rules by entering into the “Patriot Program Contract 2015,” a contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee agreeing to provide details of the Members’ legislative strategy, including a ”detailed finance plan and budget,” in exchange for “special attention” and “campaign cash.” The intent of the contract is for Members to use the official resources available to them to coordinate and detail their legislative strategies and plans with the NRCC.

“It is no surprise that the American people have lost faith in the Republicans who recklessly run Congress,” said Mary Jennings, spokesperson for the American Democracy Legal Fund. “As if the disarray in Republican ranks isn’t bad enough, now vulnerable Republican House Members are literally selling their legislative agendas to a political committee for campaign cash. Members of Congress are supposed to craft a legislative agenda that benefits their constituents, not auction their vote off to the highest bidder. Frankly, the fact that Rep. Comstock doesn’t get that shows she is not fit to serve. We urge the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate this behavior and take swift and decisive actions against any member who treats the public trust like a commodity to be bought and sold.”

Full complaint available on the ADLF website.

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot

Please join the Madison County Democratic Committee at our next regular meeting, Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. at the George James Community Center, located at 1215 George James Loop, Radiant, VA 22732.

We’ll have a brief business meeting, followed by a screening of the 40-minute documentary Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot. After the film, we’ll talk about what we can do to register local voters, help those who are eligible to have their voting rights restored, and get out the vote!

This event is free and open to the public.

See you on the 12th!

New Report: Virginia Ranks 50 out of 51 in “Health of State Democracies”

FINGERPOINT-RIGHT[1]  Download report

This is the least understood and least reported big issue in Virginia. Our state government is an all-powerful disaster zone. The normal checks and balances on a state legislature are:

1. Federal government.
2. State judiciary.
3. Local government.
4. The state constitution.
4. The voters themselves.
5. The executive branch – the governor.

The Virginia General Assembly has steadfastly marginalized the checks and balances of each of these outside entities with the partial exception of the federal government which the GA cannot control (although it tries – from Massive Resistance to Medicaid Expansion).

State judiciary – Virginia is the only state where state judges are directly elected by the legislature with no independent nominating or selection committees. What’s worse, practicing attorneys in the General Assembly elect and re-elect the very judges who decide their cases. Appalling.

Local government – strict Dillon’s Rule construct. Localities in Virginia are not allowed to determine the height of grass and weeds in their counties without General Assembly approval. No, I am not kidding

State constitution – The state constitution is routinely flaunted by the General Assembly. Virginia’s constitution requires that Congressional and state legislative districts be compact and contiguous. Take a look at the district outlines determined by the General Assembly. Do they look compact and contiguous? I guess somebody could appeal the districts to the state judiciary … oh wait, they are in the pockets of the General Assembly.

The voters themselves. Gerrymandering, off year elections, hardest state to get on the ballot as an independent, no term limits for legislators, America’s least competitive state elections, no recall elections, no voter initiated referenda … the voters have been marginalized.

The executive branch. Virginia is the only state in America where the sitting governor cannot run for a second consecutive term. Our governor is a lame duck on the day he or she is inaugurated.

Virginia’s problems stem from an over-powered, corrupt and unaccountable General Assembly.


Dick (Transvaginal Ultrasound) Black Is Comparing Women’s Groups To ISIS

One of the state’s main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black thinks that spousal rape should not be a crime.. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND — For the first time in history, Emily’s List is targeting a sitting state lawmaker — and Virginia state Sen. Richard H. Black has earned the dubious honor.

The national political action committee is putting Black “on notice” for his opposition to Medicaid expansion, equal rights for women and access to abortion.

One of the most conservative members of Virginia’s General Assembly, Black (R-Loudoun) faces a challenge in the fall from Democrat Jill McCabe, a pediatrician who was endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia on Tuesday.

“Senator Black has made it clear that his top priority is to turn back the clock on women and families across Virginia,” Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock said. She added: “Dick Black is one of the worst when it comes to policies that are dangerous to the people he was elected to represent.”

Black, a former Marine combat pilot, took the slight in stride, noting that earlier this year a magazine published by the Islamic State put him on its enemies list.

“I am the only state legislator who has also been targeted by ISIS as well,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I wear those as a badge of pride.”

Emily’s List backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights. The powerful political action committee zeroed in on Black’s seat as an opportunity to flip control of the Virginia Senate, where Republicans have a one-seat majority.

Last month, the group released a list of more than a dozen members of Congress that it would also work to fire, including U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who last year won the seat long held by former Republican congressman Frank R. Wolf.

Black has a long history of controversial behavior that continued last week when the Supreme Court affirmed gay couples’ right to marry in all 50 states.

“The gay community is quite militant. They’re not content to let people make their own decisions,” Black told NBC 4 in Washington. “It launches an attack on the Christian churches across the nation.”

Those harsh words are part of a pattern of controversial actions and statements over the years.

During House debate on a 2002 bill to lift Virginia’s ban on prosecuting spousal rape, Black said: “I do not know how on Earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape where they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth, there is no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”

The following year he made headlines for sending tiny pink plastic models of fetuses to fellow legislators ahead of a vote on an abortion bill.

Schriock derided Black’s comments as “unacceptable and out-of-touch.”

But the criticism hasn’t made him think twice.

“I’m not a fan of Emily’s List. As you know, I am firmly pro-life and I intend to remain that way regardless of Emily List’s position,” Black said.

What if the progressive group succeeded in changing his mind?

“Then,” he said, “you would probably know that the world had turned upside down.”

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