Roanoke Times: Blue Ridge Caucus

Blue Ridge Caucus


Recent Articles

Thursday 04/10/2014
State tax collections surge in March
Posted: April 10, 2014 - 2:39 pm

State general fund revenue collections increased by 7.8 percent in March compared to the same month last year, but year-to-date growth is flat through three quarters of the fiscal year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration reported today.

Thursday 03/27/2014
Poll: Warner has 15-point advantage in Senate race
Posted: March 27, 2014 - 12:59 pm

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner begins his re-election bid with clear advantage over likely Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, according to a new statewide poll released this morning.

Tuesday 03/18/2014
McAuliffe vetoes bill dealing with guns in cars, sponsor says
Posted: March 18, 2014 - 6:28 pm

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s first veto is a rejection of firearms legislation that he tried unsuccessfully to amend during the General Assembly session.

Edwards, Rasoul host town hall on Medicaid expansion
Posted: March 18, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Two Democratic state legislators will hold a town hall-style meeting on the General Assembly’s Medicaid expansion debate on Wednesday in Roanoke.

Monday 03/17/2014
Rordam to Yost: "The best step forward is to close the coverage gap"
Posted: March 17, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam is the latest local government official to wade into the debate over Medicaid expansion, urging state Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, to support a plan to accept federal funding to extend health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians.

Thursday 03/13/2014
State tax collections drop by 3.4 percent in February
Posted: March 13, 2014 - 4:56 pm

Virginia’s general fund tax collections declined by 3.4 percent in February compared to the same month last year and year-to-date growth continues to lag behind the state’s official revenue forecast, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration announced today.

Wednesday 03/12/2014
Goodlatte hails passage of "Enforce the Law" act
Posted: March 12, 2014 - 5:41 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that would allow either house of Congress to authorize a lawsuit against the executive branch for failing to "take care that the laws are faithfully executed."

Wednesday 03/05/2014
House GOP demands "clean budget" and special session on Medicaid
Posted: March 05, 2014 - 12:24 am

Republicans in the House of Delegates said Tuesday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Senate Democrats should agree to hold a special legislative session on Medicaid expansion and sever the issue from negotiations on a new state budget.

Tuesday 03/04/2014
House amends, passes "shared work" legislation
Posted: March 04, 2014 - 7:32 pm

The House of Delegates today passed legislation that would allow Virginia businesses to temporarily cut workers’ hours as an alternative to layoffs and permit workers to receive unemployment compensation to partially replace lost wages.

Wednesday 02/26/2014
Goodlatte: Obama is "picking and choosing which laws to enforce"
Posted: February 26, 2014 - 11:51 am

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, opened a congressional hearing today with an unsparing critique of President Barack Obama's use of executive power, accusing the president of "picking and choosing which laws to enforce."

Tuesday 02/25/2014
Martinsville mayor Adkins to seek state Senate seat
Posted: February 25, 2014 - 11:26 pm

Monday 02/24/2014
School prayer bill clears House committee, but McAuliffe pledges to veto it
Posted: February 24, 2014 - 10:47 am

A bill designed to protect the rights of public school students to voluntarily pray and participate in religious activities on school grounds barely cleared a House of Delegates committee this morning, moving it one step closer to passage in the General Assembly.

Thursday 02/13/2014
Bill to repeal hybrid tax headed to governor's desk
Posted: February 13, 2014 - 1:40 pm

A bill to repeal a controversial licensing tax on hybrid vehicles is heading to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk.

Wednesday 02/12/2014
McAuliffe recommends $140 million reduction to revenue forecast
Posted: February 12, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Gov. Terry McAulliffe is recommended that the state reduce its general fund revenue forecast by $140 million over the next 17 months, citing slower-than-expected tax collections through the first seven months of the current fiscal year.

Monday 02/10/2014
Senate panel pulls plug on electric chair bill
Posted: February 10, 2014 - 10:43 am

A Senate committee this morning formally shelved legislation that would make the electric chair the default method of execution in Virginia.

Tuesday 01/28/2014
Va. House passes Sunday hunting bill
Updated: January 28, 2014 - 5:38 pm

RICHMOND — The House of Delegates has passed legislation that would allow Sunday hunting on private property in Virginia, a major victory for advocates who have tried for years to end the state’s ban.

Ahead of Obama's speech, Southwest Va. legislators blast proposed EPA rules
Posted: January 28, 2014 - 11:53 am

On the day of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Southwest Virginia legislators and coal industry advocates gathered in Richmond to blast the administration’s proposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Monday 01/27/2014
Warner endorses Warner for Senate; Cline stays out of race
Posted: January 27, 2014 - 10:31 pm

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., was endorsed for re-election by his Republican predecessor Monday, while the field of potential GOP challengers thinned.

Friday 01/17/2014
Cline on U.S. Senate run: "I haven't ruled it out"
Posted: January 17, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Ed Gillespie announced his candidacy Thursday for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Warner. But the former lobbyist, White House adviser and Republican National Committee chairman hasn't quite cleared the field for the GOP nomination, which will be decided at a June convention in Roanoke.

Tuesday 01/14/2014
Griffith says "nuts!" to Waxman in coal debate
Posted: January 14, 2014 - 4:27 pm

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, figured in a lively debate at today’s Energy and Power Subcommittee markup of a bill introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Electric Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826).

Thursday 01/09/2014
Goodlatte meets with Obama over surveillance programs
Posted: January 09, 2014 - 3:18 pm

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, met with President Obama today to discuss surveillance programs.

Wednesday 01/08/2014
Rasoul goes to work in Richmond
Posted: January 08, 2014 - 11:03 am

For Sam Rasoul, the transition from candidate to delegate happened overnight.

Monday 12/30/2013
House speaker puts big bucks behind Octavia Johnson
Posted: December 30, 2013 - 6:54 pm

The speaker of the House of Delegates is betting that Republican Octavia Johnson can flip the Roanoke-based 11th District seat to the GOP in next week's special election.

Sen. Warner calls for hearing on consumer data security
Posted: December 30, 2013 - 6:00 pm

In the aftermath of Target's highly-publicized data breach, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., wants the Senate Banking Committee to examine whether businesses and financial service providers are doing enough to protect consumer data from identity theft.

Yost introduces mental health legislation
Posted: December 30, 2013 - 10:43 am

Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, has introduced legislation to implement key mental health reforms that were recommended to Gov. Bob McDonnell following the death of state Sen. Creigh Deeds’ son.

Friday 12/13/2013
McAuliffe names former rival Moran to cabinet post
Posted: December 13, 2013 - 12:33 pm

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe today tapped former state Del. Brian Moran to serve as secretary of public safety in his administration, four years after they waged a bitter fight for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Thursday 12/12/2013
Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt vote for bipartisan budget deal
Posted: December 12, 2013 - 7:27 pm

All three Republican congressmen who represent parts of Southwest Virginia supported the bipartisan, two-year budget deal passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wednesday 12/11/2013
Kaine says budget deal will help Virginia's economy
Posted: December 11, 2013 - 8:57 pm

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said today that the budget agreement struck by House and Senate negotiators will boost Virginia's economy by averting another round of automatic defense cuts and removing the prospect of another federal government shutdown.

Thursday 12/05/2013
House passes Goodlatte bill targeting 'patent trolls'
Posted: December 05, 2013 - 5:58 pm

Wednesday 11/27/2013
Wheaton exits House race
Posted: November 27, 2013 - 6:35 pm

Political newcomer Keith Wheaton has suspended his short-lived campaign for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by retiring Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Obenshain files petition for recount
Posted: November 27, 2013 - 4:27 pm

Republican Mark Obenshain formally filed for a recount of the Nov. 5 election for attorney general today, initiating a court-supervised process for deciding the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history.

Monday 11/25/2013
Urban Professional League to host forum for House candidates
Posted: November 25, 2013 - 10:12 am

A Roanoke organization for African-American professionals will host a forum next week for the candidates seeking the 11th District House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by retiring Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Friday 11/22/2013
Republicans set firehouse primary for 11th District House seat
Posted: November 22, 2013 - 6:16 pm

Roanoke Republicans have formally set a firehouse primary for Dec. 10 to nominate a candidate for the special election for the 11th District House of Delegates seat.

Thursday 11/21/2013
Kaine explains vote to end filibusters for judicial nominees
Posted: November 21, 2013 - 3:02 pm

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., issued the following statement today after Senate Democrats exercised the so-called "nuclear option," forcing through a rules change that eliminates filibusters for most presidential nominations nominations.

Wednesday 11/20/2013
Trinkle to announce House candidacy today
Posted: November 20, 2013 - 7:16 am

Roanoke City Councilman David Trinkle will formally announce his candidacy for the 11th District House of Delegates seat this morning, putting him in a crowded contest for the seat being vacated by Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware.

Monday 11/18/2013
Cline introduces bill to repeal new transportation law
Posted: November 18, 2013 - 6:48 pm

Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge County, didn't like the tax-fattened transportation funding bill that was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Weekend announcements from House candidates
Posted: November 18, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Four Democrats have announced plans to run for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Onzlee Ware, including two who formally jumped into the race over the weekend.

Wheaton in, Artis out as delegate race heats up
Posted: November 18, 2013 - 10:25 am

Democrat Keith Wheaton announced his candidacy for the 11th District House of Delegates seat over the weekend, while teacher and community activist Jeff Artis decided against getting in the race.

Friday 11/15/2013
Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson to run for Ware's House seat
Posted: November 15, 2013 - 3:33 pm

Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson has announced her candidacy for the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Democrat Onzlee Ware. The story is here.

Wheaton considering bid for Ware's seat
Posted: November 15, 2013 - 11:21 am

Another Democrat is showing interest in the House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by Onzlee Ware of Roanoke.

Thursday 11/14/2013
McAulliffe announces transition committee
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe named a 53-member, bipartisan transition committee today and tapped some well-known names from the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia.

Republicans praise Onzlee Ware
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 7:27 pm

On the day that he disclosed plans to resign from the House of Delegates, Roanoke Democrat Onzlee Ware is getting praised by leaders and lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Gov. Bob McDonnell, House Speaker Bill Howell and Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, issued statements this afternoon saluting Ware.

Candidates emerge for Ware's seat
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 6:59 pm

Two Roanoke Democrats are already gearing up to run for the House of Delegate seat held by Onzlee Ware, and a third may very well get into the race.

Del. Onzlee Ware to resign from legislature
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Roanoke Del. Onzlee Ware said this morning that he will resign from the House of Delegates and won't serve the sixth term that he was elected to last week. The Democrat said he is stepping down because of his mother's declining health.

Charity scammer with Virginia connection convicted in Ohio
Posted: November 14, 2013 - 10:27 am

An Ohio jury has convicted the mastermind of a fraudulent veterans charity that collected tens of millions of dollars from donors in several states, including Virginia.

Wednesday 11/13/2013
Liberatarian's best numbers were in Alleghany and Craig counties
Posted: November 13, 2013 - 7:26 pm

Libertarian Robert Sarvis was the strongest third-party candidate in a Virginia governor's race since William Story of the Conservative Party in 1965. Story took 13.4 percent of the vote that year, denying Mills Godwin (then a Democrat) a majority. This year, Sarvis took 6.5 percent of the vote.

What the lessons from the Virginia governor's race?
Posted: November 13, 2013 - 7:11 pm

What are the lessons from the Virginia governor's race?

Tuesday 11/12/2013
Former vice presidential candidates coming to Roanoke Valley
Posted: November 12, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Former vice presidential candidates Joe Lieberman and Sarah Palin will make public appearances in the Roanoke Valley in the coming weeks.

Friday 11/08/2013
Cuccinelli merely reviewed options on McDonnell matter, spokesman says
Posted: November 08, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office responded today to the Sabato Crystal Ball's report that Cuccinelli would have considered invoking a never-before-used section of the state constitution against Gov. Bob McDonnell if McDonnell had been indicted in the gifts scandal that has clouded his administration. Spokesman Brian Gottstein said in an email today that Cuccinelli's office merely reviewed its options in the event that the governor was indicted.

Thursday 11/07/2013
Would Cuccinelli have tried to remove McDonnell?
Posted: November 07, 2013 - 4:16 pm

The post-election analysis of Larry Sabato and his team at the University of Virginia Center for Politics contains a juicy "what-if" tidbit.

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