Virginia

Northam Tries Bipartisanship In Virginia

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) “has the weight of a Democratic landslide to throw around in the State Capitol, but he’s holding back,” the Washington Post reports.

“He could pluck a few Republicans out of the General Assembly — where the GOP is holding onto the majority by a thread — and give them jobs in his Cabinet to tilt the balance of power toward Democrats. He could try to ram through a broad expansion of Medicaid and other Democratic priorities.”

“But Northam says he is not looking to vanquish the other side.”

Chaos In Virginia House After Wrong Ballots Given

“A Democratic tidal wave on Election Day in Virginia three weeks ago has left chaos in its wake, with control of the House of Delegates still undecided and no end in sight to the dispute,” the AP reports.

“Lawsuits, threats and recriminations are flying as the state wrestles with the tricky question of what to do about the 147 voters in and around a crucial district who were given the wrong ballots.”

Virginia GOP Seeks to End Gendered Titles

“With Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official preparing to take her seat in the House of Delegates, the Republican leader of that chamber says it is time to end a tradition of addressing lawmakers by formal male and female pronouns,” the Washington Post reports.

“Instead of the ‘gentleman’ or ‘gentlewoman’ from a given jurisdiction, lawmakers will all be referred to as “delegate” if Republicans maintain control of the chamber.”

“Conservative lawmakers hailed the change as a way to avoid what they said could be a potentially awkward situation. But one of the longest-serving House Democrats called the decision ‘shameful’ and said lawmakers ‘ought to be big enough to get over these hang-ups we have.'”

Group Obtained Cellphone Numbers for Students

Roanoke Times: “Radford University and Virginia Tech turned over documents containing personal information, including names, addresses and cellphone numbers of about 40,000 current students, to progressive political group NextGen Virginia, which is working to boost voter turnout among college students in the Nov. 7 election.”

“NextGen Virginia requested the public information through Freedom of Information Act requests sent to every state-supported college and university in Virginia to obtain cellphone numbers of current students.”

Virginia Voters Divided on Who to Blame for Violence

A new MassINC poll in Virginia finds just 40% of Virginia voters agree that the white nationalist rally-goers were mostly to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, nearly identical to the 41% who pointed to both sides. Another 6% mostly blame the counter-protesters, bringing the total who assign at least equal blame to the counter-protesters up to 47%.

Democrats See Surge of New Candidates In Virginia

Richmond Times Dispatch: “Republicans hold a dominant 66-34 majority in the House, but Democrats hope the swell of anti-Trump activism in Virginia, the only Southern state Trump did not win, could lead to a 2017 wave in down-ticket House races as Virginians elect a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.”

“As of late last week, Democrats said they had candidates running in 43 of the 66 House districts that Republicans currently represent, more than double the 21 GOP districts Democrats contested in 2015. So far, Republicans have five challengers among the 34 Democratic-held districts.”

Wave of Democrats Run In Virginia

“Buoyed by a wave of progressive activism that began after the election of President Trump, Virginia Democrats plan to challenge 45 GOP incumbents in the deep-red House of Delegates this November, including 17 lawmakers whose districts voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton,” the Washington Post reports.

“In some districts, multiple candidates will compete in Democratic primaries for the chance to challenge a Republican incumbent. And at least one Democratic incumbent from Northern Virginia will face a primary challenge, from a local school board member who said Clinton’s defeat helped propel her to run.”

GOP Lawmaker Wants Porn Declared a Health Hazard

Virginia Del. Robert Marshall (R) “is asking the state legislature to declare pornography a public health hazard — a move he hopes will pave the way for limits of some sort,” the Washington Post reports.

The measure does not call for any sort of ban, only a broad recognition of “the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of the Commonwealth and the nation.”

Trump Pulls Out of Virginia

Donald Trump’s campaign is “pulling out of Virginia,” a move that stunned staff in the battleground state, three sources with knowledge of the decision told NBC News.

“The decision came from Trump’s headquarters in New York and was announced on a conference call late Wednesday that left some Republican Party operatives in the state blindsided. Two staffers directly involved in the GOP’s efforts in Virginia confirmed the decision.”

Trump Now Thinks He Can Win Virginia

Washington Post: “Donald Trump will spend more money this week in Virginia than anywhere else. Of the $3.5 million in advertising time he’s booked, $1.9 million will go into the commonwealth. More specifically, $1.4 million will be spent in the D.C. market.”

“This is notable because the Clinton campaign is so confident about its prospects that it has aired no ads on broadcast television in the state since Aug. 1. And the main pro-Clinton super PAC has canceled all of its reservations through the election.”

Key takeaway: “The consensus among the smartest Republican strategists is that the odds of Trump ultimately carrying Virginia are very low, unless the race breaks decisively his way nationally (which they do not believe will happen).”