Nuts to Mayor – Flying Squirrels Thrive at Diamond

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — The Flying Squirrels open their sixth season at The Diamond on Thursday night. Fans of the San Francisco Giants’ Double-A franchise will be treated to 2,000 new comfortable seats, a revamped Family Entertainment Zone and an expanded party deck.

The club spent nearly $200,000 on upgrades during the off-season, bringing its investment to more than $2.5 million since the Giants moved into the northside stadium. Continue reading

Are the Free Trade Pacts about Free Trade?

The Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable – the Free Trade Agreements are not about freedom. A better name for the free trades would be   “Loss of America Sovereignty Partnerships”.

So then, what are they actually? There’s the rub. They are being worked out secretly so once again we don’t know “what is in it. “

But we do know this. Titled the TPP (Transpacific partnership*) and TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership**) they are being sold as promoting free trade to the advantage of our economy. Well-meaning people have been misled into supporting them with that understanding. Continue reading

Without Accountability, Some Local Virginia Boards go AWOL

By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — After Auditor of Public Accounts Martha Mavredes took office in 2013, she realized people were calling and asking for financial records of local authorities, boards and commissions the state didn’t have on file.

In fact, the state auditor’s office didn’t even have a comprehensive list of the so-called supervisory entities created by local governments in Virginia.

That, Mavredes knew, was a problem, and she’s doing something about it. Continue reading

Virginia General Assembly Weakening Respect for Law Enforcement

By Fauquier Free Citizen

Good law enforcement begins with law enforcement officials themselves following the law. The Bill of Rights are law, and the Virginia General Assembly acts lawlessly when it tries to override them.

The Bill of Rights had a bad session in the Republican-controlled General Assembly with votes for “sneak and peek” warrants, and killing a bill that would properly limit asset seizures by police before due process and a conviction by a jury trial.

The GA also failed to vote on a 21st Century Fourth Amendment introduced by two Republicans who have proven security and safety credentials — retired Air Force Colonel Delegate Rich Anderson and former Commonwealth Attorney, Senator Richard Stuart. Continue reading

Whither Virginia’s Tea Party? Here, There, Nowhere

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — Midway through the 2015 General Assembly, the tea party has cooled down to a lukewarm presence. On the surface, at least.

Tea party rallies, “Don’t Tread on Me” banners and outlandish costumes are seldom seen at the Capitol these days. So where has the conservative conscience of the Republican Party gone?

My conversations with tea party activists point in two directions. I believe both scenarios are correct. Continue reading