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

Virginia Slides Towards a Police State, Proposed Fourth Amendment Shredded

warrantless search

You’ll never know you’re being investigated

The Fairfax Free Citizen

In a sharply worded article in CNSNews.com, Constitutional expert Mark Fitzgibbons laments the failure of a subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates to pass a six-sentence proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would update the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment to address 21st century threats.

Says Mr. Fitzgibbons:

It seemed Virginia was poised to make historic progress with a “21st Century Fourth Amendment” that would protect digital information the same as “papers and effects” found in James Madison’s original version. The six-sentence proposed amendment also protects “lands” alongside “houses” from the original, which would prevent drones from snooping on our backyards and fields without a warrant. Continue reading

‘Sneak and Peek’ Bills Trigger Backlash

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. – Watchdog.org’s report on controversial “sneak and peek” legislation approved by the Virginia House and Senate is triggering a backlash from civil-liberties activists — and buyer’s remorse from some lawmakers.

“People are becoming more conscious about what these bills do,” said Delegate Rich Anderson.

The Woodbridge Republican told Watchdog.org he expects to see a “parliamentary move” to kill the measures. Continue reading


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