August 12 thru 18, 2019

Spanberger squad

Summary

Featured Article
Sentries, not ‘squad’: Moderate Dems ones to watch for 2020 

Federal:
Wittman shifts stance on background checks
Female Candidates May Finally Crush the ‘Electability Paradox’

Executive
Herring challenging Trump Administration immigration rule, ex-AG Cuccinelli

General Assembly
Virginia Incumbents and Their Challengers Often Have More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Why a Virginia Democrat says he launched a political fundraiser off of a mass shooting that was still unfolding

Health Care
Cleared to leave Virginia’s overcrowded mental hospitals, many patients have nowhere to go
Poll finds most Virginians approve of Medicaid expansion
Health officials have distributed 28,000 clean needles to prevent hep C and HIV, but the law allowing them sunsets next year.

Democracy and the Internet:
New book looks at digital culture’s impact on politics

Safety:
To stem killings, GOP lawmaker wants to boost violence intervention programs in Virginia

Universities:
Conservative activist rebukes Virginia Tech’s ‘leftist’ freshman orientation

 

Federal

US House

Sentries, not ‘squad’: Moderate Dems ones to watch for 2020

By Laurie Kellman
Associated Press – August 12, 2019

But as the freshman Democrat from Virginia fielded a dozen questions during a recent town hall in Culpeper, she never once took on President Donald Trump directly — not even when the topic turned, fleetingly, to impeachment.

“We are making every decision, whichever way it goes, based on facts and evidence and our duty to uphold the Constitution,” she said.

This is a story about a different kind of squad.

Wittman shifts stance on background checks

By Daniel Berti
Prince William Times – Aug 13, 2019 

After a weekend of gun violence during which 31 people were killed in mass shootings, Rep. Rob Wittman says he now supports strengthening gun background checks, an apparent shift for the congressman who has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.

“I support strengthening our National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We must have a constructive conversation about how to put a stop to these mass shootings while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Wittman, R-1st, said in an email.

 

State Legislature

VA House of Delegates

Why a Virginia Democrat says he launched a political fundraiser off of a mass shooting that was still unfolding

By Ned Oliver
Virginia Mercury – August 15, 2019

It would not be the first time Levine’s response to a mass shooting has drawn ire from Republicans, who voted down his legislation last year and lectured him on civility after he sent out an email headlined “How the GOP Makes it Easy to Commit Mass Murder.”

In an interview Thursday afternoon, Levine said he stands by his fundraiser. The following Q&A has been edited for clarity and length.

Issues

Health Care

Cleared to leave Virginia’s overcrowded mental hospitals, many patients have nowhere to go

By Katie O’Connor 
Virginia Mercury – August 11, 2019

Virginia’s psychiatric hospitals are dangerously full. Though considered safest when operating at 85 percent capacity, often nearly every single bed is taken.

Yet at any given time, many of those patients have been deemed ready for discharge, but they remain in the hospital because they have nowhere else to go.

Poll finds most Virginians approve of Medicaid expansion

By Katie O’Connor 
Virginia Mercury – August 12, 2019

With more than 300,000 people now enrolled, a new poll shows that a large majority of Virginians approve of Medicaid expansion.

The poll — commissioned by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy — found that 71 percent of the 800 Virginians polled approved of expanding the program.

Health officials have distributed 28,000 clean needles to prevent hep C and HIV, but the law allowing them sunsets next year.

By Katie O’Connor 
Virginia Mercury – August 13, 2019

n 2017, Virginia passed a law allowing some localities to launch needle exchange programs, an attempt to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like hepatitis C and HIV.

But it came with a hitch: the law is due to sunset in 2020.

Democracy and the Internet

New book looks at digital culture’s impact on politics

Morning Joe – Aug. 13, 2019

Author and professor Michael P. Lynch joins Morning Joe to discuss his new book ‘Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture’.

Safety

To stem killings, GOP lawmaker wants to boost violence intervention programs in Virginia

By Mechelle Hankerson 
Virginia Mercury – August 12, 2019

Taking cues from other states and cities that have implemented them, Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, wants Virginia to establish more programs that encourage people to leave violent lifestyles in order to curb shooting deaths.

Weeks after the General Assembly abruptly adjourned a special session called to address gun violence after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Gilbert, the House majority leader, filed legislation to create new group-violence reduction or intervention initiatives.

Universities

Conservative activist rebukes Virginia Tech’s ‘leftist’ freshman orientation

By Sam Wall
Roanoke Times – August 15, 2019

A Northern Virginia political activist took to a conservative website to air her grievances regarding the “leftist propaganda” she says she witnessed at her son’s orientation at Virginia Tech.
Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, wrote that she can no longer ignore “the indefensible and discriminatory behavior of the liberal campus bullies ” in her opinion piece “My Son’s Freshman Orientation At Virginia Tech Was Full Of Leftist Propaganda,” published Wednesday in the The Federalist, where she is listed as a contributor.
The university pushed back Thursday saying it doesn’t push a political agenda at orientation but rather focuses on providing a well-rounded education in and out of the classroom.

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