Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kelo Anniversary on Schilling Show

Charlottesville, Va.—On Monday, WINA’s Rob Schilling talked about eminent domain on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision June 23, 2005 in the case of Susette Kelo versus New London, CT.

Steven Anderson of the Institute for Justice updated listeners on the Kelo case. The 90-acre neighborhood is now vacant land and not paying taxes. Nothing has been built. Kelo’s pink house has been relocated and stands as a historical marker for due process. Kelo now resides just outside of New London. The land was stolen in order to entice Pfizer Pharmaceutical to move its headquarters there. The Supreme Court ruled the theft to be legal in a 5-to-4 vote.

Anderson spoke about this case in Charlottesville Feb. 15, 2005, a week before the court heard oral arguments Feb. 22. Since the infamous ruling, 43 states have reformed eminent domain to varying degrees.

Jim Lark of the Jefferson Area Libertarians also appeared on the show. Schilling exposed Delegate David Toscano (57th, Charlottesville) for his position against private property civil rights. According to Schilling, Toscano said in a Feb. 2009 newsletter that he opposes a state constitutional amendment to restrict eminent domain to legitimate public uses. If state senator Creigh Deeds is elected governor, Toscano may run for this office. And former city councilor Blake Caravati may run for Toscano’s seat.

Toscano has long opposed civil rights when it comes to ownership of homes and businesses. On Dec. 14, 2006 both Toscano and Deeds said eminent domain was not a problem in Virginia. Yet a month later, they both voted for the reform bill introduced by Delegate Rob Bell.

Toscano spoke at the city council meeting Nov. 21, 2005, where Caravati introduced a city charter amendment to dramatically expand eminent domain in Charlottesville for “affordable housing" again. Of the five councilors, the sole Republican Schilling voted against the amendment in favor of civil rights. Current Mayor Dave Norris supported the amendment.

Citizen journalist Blair Hawkins spoke at that meeting against the amendment. Hawkins asked Toscano to vote against the amendment in the House of Delegates if it passed Council, obligating Toscano to introduce it into the General Assembly. Hawkins followed up with a letter in opposition. A state senate committee blocked the bill until the eminent domain language was removed.

Toscano was present and a city councilor when Hawkins delivered two speeches on eminent domain June 5, 2000, the public hearing to rename the 9th-10th Connector for Sally Hemings, slave of Thomas Jefferson. (1) Letter to Mayor Daugherty to investigate urban renewal. (2) Property Street for Sally Hemings and Laura Dowell. Toscano is a long-time supporter of public housing and forced relocation of minorities.

Hour 1, Schilling Show, Steven Anderson in 2nd half-hour.

Hour 2, Schilling Show, Jim Lark in 1st half-hour.

“UVa alumnus talks about eminent domain”, Feb. 16, 2005, Charlottesville Independent Media. Reprinted: “Arin Sime for Va Senate”, Oct. 23, 2007, Blair’s Blog.

Deeds and Toscano: Eminent domain not a problem in Va., Dec. 14, 2006.

“The letter that stopped Charlottesville’s eminent domain amendment” Jan. 8, 2006 – Includes text of proposed Section 50.7, passed by the Council Nov. 21, 2005, introduced by Blake Caravati who only weeks later announced he would not seek reelection. The amendment passed 4-1. For: Kendra Hamilton, David Brown, Kevin Lynch, Blake Caravati. Against: Rob Schilling.

“Response to David Toscano and Tammy Londeree on my endorsement of Rob Schilling published on George Loper's blog” April 30, 2006 – Toscano claims credit for stripping eminent domain from Charlottesville charter amendment introduced in ’06 session. In so doing, he claims the bill was passed, then amended by him and later passed again. The Daily Progress reported that a Senate committee, not the House of Delegates, made the changes.

John and Nancy McCord speak in Charlottesville Jan. 13, 2007.

2007: Virginia Reforms Eminent Domain, Jan. 12, 2008.

Latest Archive Request on WINA”, Feb 12, 2009.

Blair to be on WINA, May 5, 2009.

Audio on car tax, archives, May 6, 2009.

On the air, I gave Councilor Holly Edwards credit for trying to get a meeting with Housing Authority Director Randy Bickers and UVA’s Dr. Scot French. I have not heard from Edwards since then. I’m seeking to publish the Housing Authority’s urban renewal archives, which comprise 6,845 documents and 1,189 photographs. Or they could publish what remains of the archives. Except for about 300 photos, I have been denied access since my first request Mar. 25, 2004.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cuccinelli GOP AG, Adnan's speech

Charlottesville, Va.—On Saturday May 30 at the Richmond Coliseum, Virginia Republicans selected state senator Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General in the November election. Cuccinelli won 57% of weighted votes of 7,000 delegates and was opposed by former federal prosecutor John Brownlee and former Arlington School Board Chairman Dave Foster.

If no candidate had received a majority, there would have been a second round of voting between the biggest vote-getters to ensure majority support of the party. If a county/city has fewer delegates attend than allocated based on the previous Republican presidential votes in the district, the delegate votes are weighted so the district has a full vote.

This year, the sitting attorney general is running for governor. Bob McDonnell was unopposed at the convention. But Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling was opposed by Patrick Muldoon, who picked up 16% of the weighted vote. Bolling will run for a second term.

The office of state party chairman has been controversial in recent years. No chairman has served out his 4-year term in recent memory. On Apr. 4, Jeff Frederick was ousted by the state central committee on a 57-18 vote (76%-24%), after being elected last year with 63% against John Hager.

On Saturday Pat Mullins won 70% and was endorsed by temporary chair Mike Thomas, who led the ouster of Frederick. The protest vote went to Bill Stanley who garnered 30% of the delegates.

Democrats elected their candidates in a June 9 primary with 6.4% of 5 million registered voters. State Senator Creigh Deeds won for governor against Terry McAuliffe and Bryan Moran. Deeds lost to McDonnell 4 years ago in the attorney general race by about three hundred votes in a recount. Jody Wagner won against Mike Signer for lieutenant governor.

Delegate Steve Shannon was unopposed and will face state senator Cuccinelli in the general election Nov. 3. Shannon and Cuccinelli both represent Fairfax and surrounding areas in northern Virginia.

Republican Convention

The format of the convention was typical: parade of speeches. Sean Hannity was the keynote speaker. There were no nominating speeches. Each candidate had ten minutes and loud music played a couple seconds if you ran over. McDonnell for governor, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Patrick Muldoon for lieutenant governor, Ken Cuccinnelli, John Brownlee and Dave Foster for attorney general, Pat Mullins and Bill Stanley for party chairman.

Out of the three contests, I voted for the winner once. You might say I was a Cuccinelli delegate because of my interest in eminent domain and his work in the legislature even before the 2005 Kelo decision brought this issue into the news. In the other two competitions my vote was a protest vote. Muldoon had the most enthusiastic and vocal supporters. Muldoon blamed all the party’s problems on the only incumbent seeking reelection.

The most flamboyant speech was Ken Cuccinelli with the yellow DONT TREAD ON ME snake flags, big and small, waving throughout the coliseum. The flags were passed out moments before the speech.

After the eight speeches came the voting. Instead of leaving early, many people stayed in case there was a run-off in the attorney general race. While the results were counted, filler speeches and music from the UVA Glee Club played on. People were socializing and moving around and having lunch. Congressman Eric Cantor was booed and dismissed. Cantor voted for the initial $700 billion bailout in 2008.

The most memorable speech was from a naturalized US citizen from Kuwait, Corps of Cadets commander at Virginia Tech, Adnan Barqawi. When he began speaking, people were still chatting. Halfway through, everyone was listening and applauding the statements. When Adnan left the stage, there was a standing ovation that went on and on. Thanks to Rick Sincere for the footage.

Eminent domain stars reveal legislative agenda, Jun. 29, 2006

Goode Republicans elect chairman, marriage amendment resolution, Apr. 29, 2008

Va Republican Chairman Frederick faces ouster, Mar. 18, 2009

Va Republican Chairman Frederick purged, Apr. 7, 2009

Weighted Vote (from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins Jun. 4 2009)

Lieutenant Governor- Weighted Total: 10522.69
Bill Bolling: 8799.08 (84%)
Patrick Muldoon: 1723.61 (16%)

Attorney General- Weighted Total: 10521.38
Ken Cuccinelli: 5980.31 (57%)
John Brownlee: 3861.46 (37%)
Foster: 679.61 (6%)

State Party Chair- Weighted Total: 10524.01
Pat Mullins: 7346.77 (70%)
Bill Stanley: 3177.24 (30%)

The June Albemarle-Charlottesville GOP Breakfast will be on Saturday, June 13 at 8:15am, at the Golden Corral (1185 Seminole Trail 29N). Our guest speaker will be Jeff Horgan, Virginia State Director for Americans for Fair Taxation.