DPVA Weekly Top 5 for March 22, 2011

1. The Affordable Care Act makes life better for middle class Virginians

A Families USA Report released this week states that 123,500 with pre-existing conditions are protected from losing their health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The report also examined the 53,900 young Virginians who are now eligible to stay on their parents’ insurance plans.

To read more about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to Virginia families click here

2. Gap between Virginia rich and poor is third widest in the country

According to a report from the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis the gap between the rich and poor in Virginia is third widest in the country and the widest it has been in 30 years. The news comes as Republicans in Virginia and across the country propose massive budget cuts to programs, including education and foreclosure assistance, which create opportunity and help keep middle class families on their feet.

To read more about Virginia’s vanishing middle class, click here.

3. Cuccinelli’s small government hypocrisy

Times-Dispatch columnist Bart Hinkle issued a scathing rebuke last week of Ken Cuccinelli’s crusade against academic freedom at the University of Virginia. Hinkle asserts that Cuccinelli’s suit against the school over climate research raises serious questions about the authenticity of his stated desire to rein in government power.

To read Bart Hinkle’s column about Ken Cuccinelli’s big government overreach, click here.

4. New media a blessing and a curse for Virginia politicos

New media and social networking tools create new opportunities for political leaders to get the word out to audiences across the Commonwealth, but they have also created a brave new world in which virtually everything is on the record, all the time.

To read the Times-Dispatch’s profile on the world of modern political communications in Virginia, click here.

5. Virginia schools go dancing!

Five Virginia colleges faced off in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament last weekend and two schools (University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University) made history this weekend as they made the City of Richmond the second city in history to host two schools in the tournament’s round of 16.

To read more about VCU’s remarkable journey in the NCAA tourney, click here.

Also congrats to the James Madison and Hampton women’s basketball teams for winning entry into the NCAA Tournament! Both teams fell in their opening round games this weekend.