Anderson shoots down the opportunity to change GOP nomination method, PAC continues to attack Youngkin, and LG candidates pass legislation

Here is the latest in Virginia's statewide politics


Anderson shuts down GOP committee members’ attempt to call a State Central meeting - Virginia Scope

Earlier this week, Virginia Scope reported that a group of Republican State Central Committee (SCC) members took advantage of quorum requirements and scheduled a meeting of the SCC for February 20 with the intention of trying to change the nomination process for statewide races. It appears, however, that the party’s leader has found a technicality that will prevent the meeting from taking place.

Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Chairman Rich Anderson sent out a letter to committee members on Thursday to clarify. “As you know, 31 SCC members have asked for an SCC meeting this Saturday, February 20th, at 1pm,” Anderson wrote in the letter. He continued to state that he consulted with a parliamentarian, and due to the committee’s operations being governed by Roberts Rules of Order, he believes the call for a new meeting on Saturday is not permissible.

“The guidance I received was that a new meeting may not be called while the SCC is already in session (by virtue of having adjourned our January 23rd meeting to continue our discussions at a future meeting),” Anderson wrote. “For that reason, I conclude that the call for a February 20th meeting is not properly before the SCC. I don’t make this decision lightly because I respect all views and know this question is a contentious one, which is why I wanted outside and independent advice.” 

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The Virginia Cornerstone PAC continues to attack Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Scope is still working to determine why Chris Jankowski is so dedicated to attacking his fellow Republican through a PAC. Here is the latest content from Jankowski, which is a clear dog whistle to conservatives by trying to link Youngkin to the Clintons.

Jankowski has yet to reveal if he is doing this work at the behest of any particular candidate in the race.

Update: Youngkin campaign spokesperson Macaulay Porter responded to the mailers. “This mailer is full of lies, and the political insiders and previously failed candidates who are behind it are going back to their old political playbook and hiding behind a shady PAC because they know their dirty games are rotten to the core. They are scared of Glenn, a conservative outsider, man of deep faith, and successful leader from the private sector who can beat the Democrats in November.” 

Virginia governor candidate builds supporter list off Limbaugh's death - Politico

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin devised a unique way of building his supporter list this week: appealing to conservative sorrow over Rush Limbaugh’s death.

Youngkin, a wealthy investment executive and political newcomer, sent out a campaign email Wednesday just hours after Limbaugh’s passing inviting readers to sign a “sympathy card” for Limbaugh. A link in the email directed recipients to a page where they were asked to fill out their name, email address and phone number — data that Youngkin’s campaign will presumably be able to use to reach supporters in the future with solicitations for donations, volunteer efforts and other campaign asks.

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Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Jason Miyares for Attorney General

Former Governor Bob McDonnell endorsed Jason Miyares for Attorney General. Governor McDonnell also served as the 44th Attorney General of Virginia and was a member of the House of Delegates, representing Virginia Beach. 

"Jason Miyares is a principled, conservative leader who cares about people and gets results. As a former prosecutor, he will make public safety and victims' rights his top priority. As a conservative legislator, he is a passionate advocate for Life, Freedom, and Opportunity. He will be a highly effective Attorney General for the people."

Democratic LG candidate Del. Elizabeth Guzman championed two bills through the Senate.

The Virginia Senate this week passed two of Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s bills to create a more inclusive Virginia. Both pieces of legislation will now head to Governor Northam’s desk.

First, on Monday, the Senate passed Delegate Guzman’s bill to create an alternative state hiring process for people with disabilities. 

The second bill that passed from Guzman this week will extend the dignity of a state-issued ID card to non-drivers in the undocumented community.

Democratic LG candidate Del. Hala Ayala’s Bill to Expand Broadband Access Unanimously Passes Virginia Senate

HB 1923, a bill that will expand broadband access in the Commonwealth unanimously passed out of the Senate on Thursday.

“Broadband is as essential of a utility as electricity in the 21st century,” said Ayala. “Our goal is to ensure that we can provide broadband access to every resident as fast as we can, and HB 1923 will help to accomplish this goal. We should be doing everything we can to foster innovation throughout our Commonwealth--not restrict it. Broadband access is a key part of rebuilding the post-COVID economy.”

Racial Disparities Persist After Marijuana Decriminalization - VPM News

by Ben Paviour

When Virginia Democrats moved to decriminalize marijuana last year, lawmakers pitched the move as a first step at addressing long-standing racial disparities in drug arrests.

But a new VPM analysis of court records since the policy went into effect shows Black individuals in Virginia are still nearly four times more likely than white people to face summons over marijuana possession despite similar usage rates.

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Senators kill legislation aimed at increasing diversity within Virginia’s elite public high schools - Va Mercury

by Kate Masters

A Senate committee voted Thursday to kill legislation aimed at expanding diversity in Virginia’s governor’s schools — a hot-button issue that’s sown debate at some of the state’s elite public institutions.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, made the motion to table the bill indefinitely over strong objections from Black and minority lawmakers including Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth — the chamber’s president pro tempore and the first woman and African American to hold that role.

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Some assembly required? Va. GOP sorts out nomination process - AP

By Sarah Rankin and Mathew Barakat

Virginia Republicans hoping to break a 12-year losing streak in statewide elections face an additional self-imposed obstacle this year: They still have no idea how they’ll choose their nominees.

Plans right now call for a statewide convention May 1 to choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. The problem, though, is that mass gatherings are still banned because of the coronavirus pandemic. And party leaders can’t agree on how to adjust.

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Va. House slows down bill that would allow Dominion to profit off electric school bus program - Richmond Times-Dispatch

by Patrick Wilson

Democrats and environmental groups want Virginia to transition from diesel to electric school buses to improve children’s health and protect the environment.

There are options for how to do that. One is a program run by Dominion Energy that would allow the utility to charge ratepayers for the buses and their batteries, and collect a profit. A bill for this option passed the state Senate this year.

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Democratic candidate for Governor Terry McAuliffe released a New Video on how to Make Virginia the Best State in the Nation for STEM-H & Computer Science Education

Virginia Hospitals Have Administered More Than 659,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses So Far

Virginia hospitals have administered 659,245 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in the time since the Commonwealth received the first shipment of doses in mid-December. The current figure reflects doses administered by hospitals as of Tuesday, Feb. 16. It represents a 23 percent increase from the more than 536,000 administered doses reported by VHHA last week.

Virginia recently modified its vaccine distribution plan – the Commonwealth is now sending vaccines to local health departments which are facilitating clinics and distributing vaccines to a broader group of community partners including hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, and others. As a result, Virginia hospitals are not receiving any direct first dose vaccine allocations. The weekly supply they get is through allocations from local health districts. Because of that, available first doses on hand at hospitals are administered during the week within which they are received.