Forty two years in journalism made me a compulsive note taker. I take notes when I’m on the phone, sometimes when I’m watching TV and any time I’m at a public meeting. About the only place I don’t take notes is in church. Pity, too, because I wish I could tell you exactly what Fr. Steve DeLeon told Star of the Sea parishioners in Virginia Beach on the first weekend of December. During his homily the priest surprised the congregation when he announced that he’d hired a moonlighting police officer to guard the church during services. In fact, the uniformed officer was posted in the lobby at that very moment. Heads spun around to the back of the church. I hadn’t noticed the cop when I slunk in, late - as usual - for the 8 a.m. Mass. But on the way out there he was, holding open the door
In his rush to get new Democrats on the voter rolls before the 2016 presidential election, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a blanket order restoring the voting rights of about 206,000 felons. When the Virginia Supreme Court slapped down this April 2016 move as illegal McAuliffe began churning out restorations one by one. That was legal. By the time he left office, McAuliffe had restored the civil rights of approximately 173,000 felons. This meant they could vote, serve on juries and run for political office. But there were other consequences to McAuliffe’s sweeping move: Those newly enfranchised felons were now free to march into court to ask for the restoration of their gun rights. Not sure the liberals who supported McAuliffe plumping up the voter rolls saw that coming.
Media reporting on this year’s Virginia General Assembly session focused on the primary disagreement that resulted in an extended budget impasse: Obamacare’s optional program to expand the entitlement state by extending Medicaid benefits to able-bodied adults. This disagreement has been part of each of the last five General Assembly sessions, but advocates for the full implementation of Obamacare in Virginia took a different approach this year. Having watched Governor McAuliffe repeatedly try and fail to extend this entitlement to those not currently eligible, Obamacare supporters attempted to rebrand Medicaid expansion as “conservative.” Expanding Obamacare in Virginia will cost the state over $300 million, accelerate the rate of growth of the fastest increasing portion of the state b