Archives June 2018

Rob Schilling

Rob Schilling is the host of the Charlotteville-based talk show, “The Schilling Show” heard 12-2 pm weekdays on Newsradio 1070 and 98.9 FM WINA and streamed online. Known as “The Community Watchdog,” Rob, a former city councilman, is never shy with his (informed) opinion and explains his journey from California to become a beloved and respected member of the Charlottesville and Virginia media scene.

As we approach the 242nd Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, Rob comes on the program at a perfect time, especially when our political discourse hasn’t been much hotter. In the shadow of Jefferson’s Monticello, does Schilling feel that the tree of liberty does need to be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots?

Links of note:

Also joining me to discuss current events – and what we hope will be the regular first segment of the program is Norman Leahy, columnist for The Washington Post and contributor to Real Clear Investigations.

News with Norm:

“The California Legislature included in its official history the congratulatory statement that the Act was part of California’s legacy of ‘forward thinking.’ But it is not forward thinking to force individuals to ‘be an instrument for fostering public adherence to an ideological point of view [they] fin[d] unacceptable.’ It is forward thinking to begin by reading the First Amendment as ratified in 1791; to understand the history of authoritarian government as the Founders then knew it; to confirm that history since then shows how relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech; and to carry those lessons onward as we seek to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech for the generations to come. Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”

Is current political commentary over-the-top?

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Offshore resources are worthy of exploration

This past week, the public radio program “Science Friday” celebrated Cephalopod Week at its website. The humble, creepy and often mysterious Kraken has long been an object of amazement and a favorite of folklore.

Every time I tune in to the program, I seem to hear something amazing about our oceans. It may be the fact that water really is blue, not clear, to a fish that has evolved to emit bioluminescence of a different hue from its prey allowing it to be a better predator. Or it could be learning about giant jellyfish and sea cucumbers. I find myself in wonder about all we are still learning about the deep.

It also helps that June is “Oceans Month,” during which the program is exploring the science of our blue planet’s oceans and those who are studying them.

It also would seem sacrilege if our beach’s community paper, serving everywhere from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to Knotts Island, N.C., wouldn’t have a great affinity and respect for the beauty and splendor of our seas.

But the ocean, in addition to being beautiful, just like the rest of the earth, is also a resource. From commercial fishing to naval exercises, sand erosion and beach construction to energy production, conscientious, constructive and balanced decisions need to be made that not only protect and preserve the resource but also permit the free market – and the community – to thrive.

Yet, based solely on information from the early 1980’s, the dread of a disaster such as Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, and a sustained campaign from environmental activists has some Virginians refusing even the prospect of a conversation.

Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam joined several other Atlantic Coast governors in penning a letter to Congress about the Trump administration’s plan to move forward with coastal prospecting.

“Offshore drilling is a clear and present threat to Virginia’s economy, our military assets and our natural resources,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in a statement. “Instead of working to eliminate states’ authority to make our own decisions about our own coastlines, Congress and the Trump administration should work with us to develop the new energy technologies we need to fight climate change and make our country a leader in the global energy economy of the future.”

Clear and present threat? Says who? Northam’s political base? Even Deepwater Horizon was nearly a decade ago, and significant advances in safety and training have been made by the oil and natural gas industry.

Northam’s objections would be acceptable if a reasonable hearing of the benefits of offshore energy development were being considered. But we can’t even get to the point of knowing those benefits due to vociferous objections to merely conducting exploration. As I mentioned before, the data we’re basing our policy making comes from a time when the Atari and cassette tapes were state of the art.

Even former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb realizes that knowing what is off the coast is critical to our making a reasonable judgment as to whether developing the industry here is worth the time. Webb has joined the Explore Offshore imitative of the American Petroleum Institute as its co-chair.

What we do know does point to a very positive – and prosperous – opportunity.

“After about five years of lease sales and ramping up activity, you got about $122 million of direct spending just in the Hampton Roads area … and that will rise to $1.3 billion in year 20,” said Miles Morin of the Virginia Petroleum Council during a recent interview. “There is a lot of concentrated benefits for the Hampton Roads area to the tune of $1.3 billion per year and maintaining and growing in year 20.”

There is a vast amount we don’t know about the oceans – including what prosperity lies beneath its surface. Just as we are exploring its natural wonders, with U.S. oil exports reaching a record high of 1.76 million barrels per day in April, we owe ourselves the opportunity to explore and learn more about our ocean’s resources before making a decision.


This column appears in The Princess Anne Independent News

Richard Sander, “Moving toward Integration”

We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. A significant and groundbreaking piece of legislation. In retrospective, is it working? Is it fulfilling its promise of moving America toward a more inclusive, fair, and prosperous society?

 

On the podcast is Dr. Richard Sander, co-author of “Moving toward Integration: The past and future of Fair Housing.” Sander and his co-authors argue that housing segregation is the most significant factor driving racial inequality and preventing continued African-American advancement and full integration into American life.

 

The book has data-driven, practical solutions to promote greater integration without coercive social engineering.

 

On the show, we discuss how Sander came to the idea of writing this book, including his life experiences, the importance of empirical data and why politics might cloud rational decision making, and why society needs this book today. We then explore why academia is reluctant to approach such hot-button topics as race relations, particularly if the research and findings don’t fit certain accepted norms. Finally, he explains the value of integration, his prescriptions for successful integration, what is the role of government, and current issues in Fair Housing.

 

Links of note:

Richard Sander Bio (UCLA)
‘Moving Toward Integration’: A Q&A with Professor Richard Sander
Why are African Americans better off in San Diego than St. Louis? Fair housing
How to Make Fair Housing Truly Fair
50 years after the Fair Housing Act, bipartisanship is still hard, but possible
Richard Sander Speaks on the Challenges of Discussing Affirmative Action
Black, Asian homebuyers more likely to be denied home loans than white applicants in Hampton Roads
Attorney General Herring Files Brief Opposing Suspension of Hud’s Fair Housing Rule

 

About Richard Sander

Richard Sander is a nationally-acclaimed Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, economist, and co-author of the new book, MOVING TOWARD INTEGRATION: The Past and Future of Fair Housing (with Yana A. Kucheva and Jonathan M. Zasloff).  He’s a leading legal authority on matters of race, housing, and affirmative action, and a prominent social scientist on issues of inequality.  Sander has appeared on major radio and television programs nationwide.  The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Atlantic, and others have all written extensively about his work.  His previous book, Mismatch, has shown the importance of studying the actual effects of affirmative action policies, and reshaped the national and legal debate on that issue.


To Learn More About Moving toward Integration visit www.MovingTowardIntegration.com or www.hup.harvard.edu


Is racial integration in American housing....
1 vote · 1 answer

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Quentin Kidd and Norman Leahy

On the state of the Virginia GOP
Kidd: “To use an analogy…we’re in the middle of trench warfare in the fields of Northern France and half of the Republicans are charging over the hill, bayonets affixed, and the other half are hovering in the trenches, shaking.”

Leahy: “It’s a dumpster fire.”

Virginia voters took to the polls June 12th to pick nominees in both major parties for U.S. Congress. Republicans selected Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart as their standard-bearer to challenge President Trump’s favorite “total stiff”, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in his bid for re-election.

Helping diagnose the election and set the stage for the General Election fight are Norm Leahy, columnist for the Washington Post and official political Monday morning quarterback on WRVA-1140AM and Dr. Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy and Dean of the College of Social Sciences at Christopher Newport University.

Issues addressed: The GOP brand (is it a “dumpster fire” or merely conflicted?), Democrats nominating six female candidates, prospects of another “blue wave”, race and identity politics, and a look at each congressional district.

Links of note:

Election Results – Democratic Primaries
Election Results – Republican Primaries
Vangie Williams wants to impeach Trump
All Congressional Candidates – Open Secrets
Libertarian Candidates
Matt Waters for U.S. Senate
Whig Candidates




If the election were held today, who would you support for U.S. Senate in Virginia?
104 votes

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No, For Real – The 2018 Virginia U.S. Senate GOP Primary Really Is a Once in a Generation Election

On Tuesday, June 12, voters across the Commonwealth will have the opportunity to participate in an anomaly: a primary to choose a nominee for a U.S. Senate seat that does not involve an incumbent in that particular primary race.

There have only been five U.S. Senate primaries since 1970 – two for the Republicans and three for the Democrats and only two have had candidates not involving an incumbent and only one was not head-to-head.

As far as the GOP goes, the elections in 1996 and 2012 involved either an incumbent, Sen. John Warner, or a former incumbent on a comeback quest, Sen. George Allen. Both won easily with over 60 percent of the vote.

To get some idea on what this looks like in Virginia with more than a head-to-head match-up, you have to look at the 1970 Democratic Primary between the nominee George Rawlings, Jr., Clive Duval II and Milton Colvin. However, that can hardly be a representative sample as the incumbent U.S. Senator that year – and the one who cruised to re-election – was Independent Sen. Harry Byrd.

In other words, what we’re about to see next Tuesday has not happened in Virginia in generations: a truly competitive primary to determine a new candidate for the Senate.

The last Republican primary for the Senate was held during a presidential election year. Mitt Romney was already the effective Republican nominee, and President Barack Obama faced no opposition. So, the U.S. Senate race was truly the biggest game in town.

Allen won handily over his three opponents, which included first-time candidate E.W. Jackson, with 65 percent of the vote. More than 256,000 votes were cast.

While some might make the argument that some Democrats voted in that election, there will be much less of that chance this cycle because several of the congressional districts – including the 2nd – have very competitive nomination contests as well.

This means only Republicans are likely to vote for the candidate of their choice in the U.S. Senate primary, and you would hope – at least if you’re a party person – that voters show up.

Republican Party decision makers have argued that spending the money on a publicly funded primary will enable them to identify more voters who are supportive of their agenda.

An individual’s vote in the primary is secret, but the fact that they voted is not. Parties wish to take advantage of that knowledge to encourage a voter in subsequent elections to volunteer, donate, and vote for their candidates.

Primary proponents also argue that the candidate chosen will best represent the GOP to a broader electorate. In the case of the 2013 Republican gubernatorial nomination, which was a convention, it has been stated, weakly, that former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli would not have won a primary versus former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.

Or that Jackson, who at that time was (mis)characterized as an ideologue and won in a balloting marathon the lieutenant gubernatorial nod, would have lost in a primary if he could have competed with the resources needed for a statewide race at all. As a reminder, he did compete the year before in the U.S. Senate primary.

Regardless, Corey Stewart, a Minnesota firebrand and former Trump surrogate, Nick Freitas, the U.S. Army special forces soldier from California and now a pro-Liberty (i.e. Rand Paul) conservative, and Jackson, the foster child from Pennsylvania turned Marine turned one-time GOP statewide candidate, all have amazing stories to tell and deserve the time and consideration of a vote.

Let’s hope that the lure of summer sea breezes and woefully inadequate media coverage don’t lull the electorate to sleep. This truly is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.


This column appears in The Princess Anne Independent News.


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Shion Fenty

Shion Fenty, a small business owner from Henrico is running to be the Republican nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 4th District. She stops by the podcast to discuss:

  • Her background, including being the daughter of immigrants, growing up in New York, and moving to Virginia
  • The principles that guide her life and politics
  • Why she decided to run for Congress
  • The core issues that will define her campaign and life in elected office
  • Empowering and educating people
  • The changing 4th Congressional District
  • Identity politics – including uniting Republicans
  • Why Don McEachin needs to go
  • How and why she can win the election and grassroots support
  • Who she would support for Speaker of the House and

We conclude the podcast talking about what inspires her.

Links of note:
Shion Fenty for Congress
2016 Election Results
GovTrack – Virginia’s 4th Congressional District (includes district map)
At GOP debate in 4th Congressional District, candidates’ race becomes issue (Virginian-Pilot)
Ep. 32: 4th Congressional District Debate
Ep. 29: Ryan McAdams

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23 GOP Virginia Legislators Voted for Medicaid Expansion, Abandoning GOP Principles – But Will Voters Still Reelect Them in 2019?

Only time will tell if the argument that passing a budget with Medicaid expansion with a work requirement will create jobs, maximize coverage, and provide better quality care. It would be wise for all to see if those promises are upheld. Regardless of whether they happen or not, it shows to conservatives that there is a very clear group of Republicans who are nowhere near to being conservative.

The Republican Creed is pretty straightforward when it says “that the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice” and “That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government.”

The free enterprise was not upheld. This budget is not likely to adequately address human need. And the $115.8 billion spending plan is nowhere near taking into account budgetary restraint – especially when relying on a federal government with a $21T debt to pick up a chunk of the price tag.

While some will argue that there is a conservative element that allowed them to hold their noses and vote for the bill because of a work requirement, that’s only going to be effective for so long. Right now the economy is chucking along at what appears to be the natural rate of unemployment, so assuming a person has to be working poor seems reasonable. But what happens when we go through another recession and the stories of layoffs and sick kids once again pull at the heartstrings? We all know that liberals will insist that work requirement is rescinded.

Let’s call this what it is: A profit windfall for an existing monopoly. For-profit hospitals expect to rake in $1 billion under this bait-and-switch. Meanwhile, rest assured the $600 million bed tax is going to be passed along to the consumer.

And with the federal government debating how much it will kick in, this is a recipe for disaster for other programs we legitimately expect the government to pay for, like public safety, education, and transportation.

“Medicaid is already the fastest-growing expense of state government.  In just 10 years, it has grown from 14% of Virginia’s general fund expenditures to 23%, where it is currently.  Since the general fund also pays for core government services like schools and public safety, Medicaid is continuing to crowd out funding for those other services,” wrote Senator Bryce Reeves in his weekly newsletter.

How does any of this sound like budgetary restraint at all?

Democrats seem to have figured out how to keep their members united – and even find ways to pass the impossible when they’re not in power. The GOP continues to flounder, with some of its members living in fantasy land. Completely toothless, the party most likely lacks the moral courage to even sanction the members who voted for this monstrosity.

Instead, these elected officials have willfully disregarded core principles for political expediency and incumbent protection. The only question remains is whether they will be rewarded with a return to service in 2019.

State Senate (members)
Senator Ben Chafin, Senator Jill Vogel, Senator Frank Wagner, and Senator Emmett Hanger

House of Delegates (members)
Speaker Kirk Cox, Del. Chris Jones, Del. Terry Austin, Del. Robert Bloxom, Del. Glenn Davis, Del. James Edmunds, Del. Scott Garrett, Del. Gordon Helsel, Del. Keith Hodges, Del. Riley Ingram, Del. Terry Kilgore, Del. Barry Knight, Del. Danny Marshall, Del. James Morefield, Del. Chris Peace, Del. Todd Pillon, Del. Chris Stolle, Del. Bob Thomas, and Del. David Yancey

HB 5002 Vote