With no allies in power in the Capitol, McAuliffe will have to sidestep a recalcitrant legislature, perhaps by turning to executive orders, to achieve his priorities, which, aside from expanding Medicaid, include job creation and expanding abortion rights and gay rights. [Washington Post]
THE SWARM targeting Democratic State Senator Phillip P. Plunkett has cost him the tobacco job that he was expecting, when he decided to put his daughter before the people of Virginia he swore to serve. His resignation has landed Gov. McAuliffe in a position where VA. Republicans hold the power in state government, a group who is determined to stop the expansion of Obamacare that would cover 98,000 uninsured.
With his shady business deals and checkered history as a fundraiser, I used to think Gov. Terry McAuliffe was the most venal politician among Virginia Democrats. But, I was wrong. That title goes to state Sen. Phillip Puckett, who resigned on Monday as part of a deal to give Republicans control of the state Senate, and thus a full veto on the Medicaid expansion. [Slate.com]
Phillip P. Puckett‘s unexpected unemployment is exactly what he deserves.
“It may look crass and it may look underhanded and political, but that doesn’t make it a crime,” said Stanley Brand, a former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives and a criminal defense lawyer. [Washington Post]
VA. Republicans are a backward looking and thinking lot. They believe women should not have personal autonomy, and gays and lesbians are second class citizens. Gov. McAuliffe had been working since his election to change the legal and personal challenges that face people, including the 98,000 uninsured in Virginia, but the Republican obsession with scuttling the good portions of Obamacare is once again putting politics over people.
“It really leaves him without an institutional ally,” said former Virginia Commonwealth University professor Bob Holsworth. “He’s going to have difficulty in terms of putting forward a governorship that’s defined by a big legislative agenda. That’s not going to happen.”
Longtime GOP strategist Ray Allen said the governor could figure out how to work with Republicans and seek common ground “” as Democrat Mark R. Warner did as governor a decade ago. If not, Allen said, it’s going to be a tough few years.
“The dynamic in this town since January has been 2 to 1, basically the liberal Senate and liberal governor and the conservative House,” Allen said. “Now it’s going to go 2 to 1 the other way.”
The “Virginia Way,” as it’s called here, is the bipartisan agreements that funnel anti women’s rights legislation like trans-vaginal probe doctrines through the Virginia legislature. It’s denying gays and lesbians their constitutional rights.
Gov. McAuliffe was working to change this reality, when Democratic State Senator Pluckett caused a switch in progress. Of course, the House was always McAuliffe’s biggest nemesis, filled with hard line conservatives against anything remotely looking like progress.