Happy New Year! Thanks for checking out the first DPVA Weekly Top 5 of 2011, your weekly look at the top 5 news items from last week and what’s coming up for Virginia Democrats.
1. Bob Marshall Continues to Embarrass Virginia
Bob Marshall’s one-man effort to maintain the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in the Virginia National Guard even after congress and President Obama acted to repeal it continued to confound national and state spectators last week.
Daily Press columnist Tamara Dietrich celebrated the fact that Bob Marshall is part of a “dying breed” and deconstructed numerous elements of his “awkwardly personal and weirdly specific” reasons for pursuing this quest that even Republican Governor Bob McDonnell says is a bridge too far.
To read Tamara Dietrich’s column on Bob Marshall’s discrimination bill click here.
2. Cuccinelli Continues to Pass the Buck on U.S. Navy Vets
Last week the Virginian-Pilot took Ken Cuccinelli to task for spending the year suing everyone in sight, but sitting on his hands while the state of Ohio investigated and charged Bobby Thompson, the founder of the U.S. Navy Vets charity and a major Cuccinelli contributor, for defrauding donors and families of veterans.
As the article states, after months of public pressure “Cuccinelli donated the $55,000 he collected from ‘Bobby Thompson’ to a real charity, but an investigation of the faux vet group is being handled by another state agency, and no charges have been filed in Virginia.”
To read the Pilot’s yearly round up which included Ken Cuccinelli’s abdication of leadership on U.S. Navy Vets click here.
To read about the dubious chain of events surrounding Cuccinelli’s relationship with U.S. Navy Vets, click here.
3. President Obama and Congressional Democrats Close the Year Strong
As the year drew to a close, President Obama and congressional Democrats finished a post-election session by passing a flurry of bills that will make our nation more secure, more equal and more prosperous.
From a renewed arms control treaty with Russia, to a bill to provide 911 first responders with critical aid, to the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Democrats closed 2011 by standing up to Republican obstruction and doing the right thing for Americans. The session was the capstone of a remarkably productive two years for the President and the Democratic majority in Congress.
To read DNC Chairman and Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine’s year-end analysis of President Obama’s first two-years in office click here.
4. McDonnell’s ‘Credit Card’ Transportation Plan Continues to Draw Fire
Governor Bob McDonnell’s plan to borrow $3 billion to try and fix Virginia’s transportation crisis continues to face criticism from leaders and journalists who are concerned both by the plan’s lack of sufficient funding to meet Virginia’s transportation needs and the staggering debt it would rack up.
Last week the Daily Press weighed in calling the plan “an inadequate solution, on many counts.” To read the full editorial click here.
5. Jamie Radtke Brings the Party to 2012
Virginia Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S. Senate race last week. Radtke, who will likely run in a primary with several leading Republicans including former Senator George Allen, drew immediate criticism from Republican bloggers across the state who described her as Virginia’s “own Christine O’Donnell,” and claimed that she can’t win a general election in Virginia.