Posts by Corrigan Blanchfield
It's no secret that Virginia played a pivotal role in the 2008 election of President Obama. While the Commonwealth's 13 electoral votes certainly had not been ignored during previous election cycles, a long history of the "red state" label left us little more than wishful thinking for Democratic presidential hopefuls. However, Virginia is now poised to play its biggest role yet in the upcoming presidential election. No longer a safe bet for Republicans, the accessibility of the state to Democratic candidates--determined to extend their winning streak--means that both sides will need to double their efforts.
For the third time in the past five years, Virginia has climbed to the top of CNBC's rankings of America's Top States for Business. The state's chief victory was being ranked the nation's second-most business-friendly state, indicating a regulatory schematic aimed at attracting businesses looking to relocate. While regulation in particular may remain a politically divisive issue, it is easy to see that the work of Virginia's entire government, regardless of political allegiances, has produced great results.
As a resident of York County, I'm fortunate enough to read the James River Journal, an online-only publication dealing specifically with my hometown and the area surrounding it. While publishing the Journal as a physical paper would once have been prohibitively expensive, simply because of the relatively tiny readership, the entire paper can be supported online through the sale of a few ads. This speaks to trends that will impact policy and politics alike.
This past January, in the middle of another budgetary showdown, Attorney General Cuccinelli released a legal opinion that Virginia's State Constitution does not permit the General Assembly, or any other legislative body, to appropriate state funds for private charitable groups. While the goal of fiscal conservatism may be admirable, outright halting of funding for these organizations, already struggling because of recession-mandated budget cuts, could be disastrous in the long term.
Today's era of fiscal austerity has triggered intense debates about politics, dividing many Virginians along ideological lines. There is one thing we all can agree on, however: Virginia's public colleges and universities are the crown jewels of the Commonwealth.
For those who aren't often in Hampton, Buckroe Beach is a rare gem, a community beach relatively untouched by human hands save for the steady creep of residential developments, now a seemingly inescapable feature of beaches everywhere. Theoretically, Buckroe is ripe for commercial expansion, but the city of Hampton ought to think twice before carrying out its master plans to develop the area.
The American people can rest comfortably knowing that justice has been served. The residents of Washington, DC and New York City whose lives were forever changed nearly 10 years ago can perhaps gain closure for a trying chapter of their lives. But as the world is at last free of Osama bin Laden, we should pursue dignity in our success, celebrating the triumph of good and not only the death of evil.
This week, State Senate party leaders began meeting to discuss redrawing the boundaries of Virginia's 40 senatorial districts. As expected, this task has become highly politicized. Virginia is simultaneously experiencing rapid growth and steady decline in distinct regions of the state. The situation is not beyond repair, however. One new policy that might make a difference: state leaders ought to consider a one-time corporate income tax credit per job created.
Christopher Newport University and the Richmond Times-Dispatch have released their yearly environmental poll, and the results are clear: Virginians stand together as protectors of nature. Respondents to the poll (a plurality of who identified themselves as independent of either political party) showed strong support for recycling initiatives and energy-efficient light bulbs, as well as indicating that they are driving and consuming less now than in previous years.