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By Jack Cooper, ProgressVA Intern

This past Monday was a momentous day for the General Assembly. It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is one of the biggest lobbying days during session. To top it off, an extremely important piece of legislation was coming to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee. Senate Bill 248 was up on the agenda that day among various other bills and attracted a lot of attention from various organizations such as Equality Virginia and Virginia Government Employees Association. If enacted, this bill would prohibit discrimination against state employees based on race, religion, sexual orientation etc. and also clearly defines gender identity and sexual orientation within the language.

Since the bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support last session, you would think that this bill would stand a good chance at being passed. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Despite the numerous testimonies from supporters from across the state and the strong presentation from both patrons, Senator McEachin and Senator Ebbin, the bill was killed by a 7-7 tie vote. I couldn't believe it; I thought this bill would surely make it out of committee and help lead Virginia toward equality. How can someone in this day and age not believe that every human being has a right to be happy and be themselves? Some days it feels like with every step we take forward, we take two steps back.

 

The heated discussion in the hallway outside the closed door meeting in Manassas City Hall last night left no doubt that the issue at hand is an attempt to ban abortions. Supporters of women's health attended the Thursday night meeting of the City Council Economic/Community Development & Land Use Committee as the main issue is a measure that would mimic the anti-reproductive rights measure recently thrust forward by Fairfax City that unfairly targets women's health facilities. If adopted, ideological city officials would be able to impede abortion clinics from operating in the city through zoning and special use permitting red tape. While under the false guise of being an issue about city spending, the measure is a de facto abortion ban at the local level.

The backdoor attempt to block access to reproductive health care are no less offensive or burdensome than the radical restrictions designed to shut down women's health centers and extreme personhood legislation at the state level. The effort in Manassas, while more crafty and less blatant, this attempt is as damaging to comprehensive reproductive health care than mandatory ultrasounds, 24-hour wait periods, and disingenuous crisis pregnancy centers.

While the outcome of the meeting was in effect to delay any action, the issue is far from over. On February 3 the measure will again be discussed by the city officials without any comment from the public. Even if they do not allow women's health advocates to be heard, it couldn't be more important for us to make our presence felt. No level of government should restrict women's access to constitutionally protected reproductive health care, from birth control to abortion.

 

Yesterday afternoon, federal prosecutors indicted Bob and Maureen McDonnell on charges stemming from the Star Scientific gift scandal. These charges only underscore the need for real ethics reform in Richmond. This morning, ProgressVA Education Fund released a new report examining how effective proposed ethics reform legislation would be. The bottom line?

Thanks to massive loopholes, the leading ethics reform proposal (HB1211) would not have banned a single gift in 2012.

The need for real ethics reform legislation has only been amplified by former Governor McDonnell's gift scandal and yesterday's indictment. The House of Delegates will begin considering ethics reform bills this afternoon and the Senate will act soon. It's vital you contact your representatives now and tell them ethics reform that leaves out the reform is unacceptable.

Demand real ethics reform from your representatives now!

Key findings from ProgressVA Education Fund's report are listed below the fold.

 

Dickie Bell's Detrimental Bill

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By Jack Cooper, ProgressVA Intern

I was a little taken aback while looking over HB207 proposed by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20).  This bill would require the Board of Education along with local school boards and teaching staff to create an overall positive environment for elementary and secondary school students that "encourages students to explore scientific questions" and "develop critical thinking skills" in the class room.  So far, this doesn't seem like such a bad idea until you get towards the end of the bill.  But the bill would also "allow teachers to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in science class".  

In reality, this legislation would protect teachers who question the broad scientific consensus of theories such as evolution and climate control, and allow them to introduce non-scientific or debunked research in the classroom.  This leaves me worried about quality of education our next generation will receive if this bill is passed.  A proper education is vital in order to ensure economic success.  Without it, the youth of today will be at risk of developing inadequate decision making skills and will be ill-prepared in general.  

This ill-conceived bill could prove detrimental to future students and society as a whole if it were to be implemented.  Can you imagine a future where government officials and business executives make important decisions that could impact our day to day lives based on debunked ideas and a poor education?  Bills like these put at risk the quality of education we provide our youth.  Teaching children to be skeptical of scientific theories will only handicap them in further down the line in their academic careers.  This bill has been referred to Committee on Education and will hopefully be killed before it reaches the floor and causes any harm to our school systems.

 

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee needs to hear from you right now before a dangerous fetal anomaly amendment is heard at 4PM. Please call the committee members and tell them to oppose it. Talking points are included below. 

If your State Senator is listed below please call them immediately. 

B.A. 4-5.04 repeals abortion funding for low-income women when a physician certifies in writing that the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly.

This amendment places no restrictions on women who can afford to pay for their own abortion and targets only those low income women who cannot afford to end their pregnancy after learning of a severe physical or mental anomaly. SB 826 would deny poor women access to safe care, for no other reason than their poverty.

Women of Virginia should not be denied necessary healthcare based upon their ability to pay.

  • If B.A. 4-5.04 is approved, Medicaid-eligible women in Virginia will have no option for a pregnancy in which the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly.
  • Every woman's situation is different and many things can go wrong in a pregnancy. No woman plans to have an abortion, but if she needs one, every woman deserves the opportunity to make the best decision for her circumstances.
  • In many cases, these are much wanted pregnancies and women and their families are devastated when a terrible diagnosis is made. Many fetal anomalies are not diagnosed until the 2nd trimester, which makes the abortion more expensive, more complicated, and difficult to access.
  • Leaving poor women without financial assistance for safe and sometimes critical care threatens their wellbeing. These Medicaid-eligible women are by definition very poor, and B.A. 4-5.04's denial of care would exacerbate the crisis for those of them who decide they want to terminate the pregnancy.
  • When a woman receives a catastrophic prenatal diagnosis, she should have the option that her wealthier counterparts enjoy to end the pregnancy safely and with dignity. B.A. 4-5.04 would force her to scramble for money she does not have, and therefore quite possibly carry to term against her will. Women suffering a medical crisis such as this deserve our respect and support.

Health care decisions are best made by individuals and their medical providers.

  • B.A. 4-5.04 stands between a physician who believes that an abortion is necessary for her patient after discovering a fetal anomaly and that patient if she is low-income. No such barrier exists for women capable of paying.

This amendment places an undue burden on low-income women who already face decreased access to medical care. Instead of improving the health and safety of low-income women in Virginia, B.A. 4-5.04  removes another layer of health care from those already at risk.

 

Last night Governor Bob McDonnell gave his final state of the Commonwealth address. The speech was equal parts legacy touting and apologies for the gift scandal that has engulfed his term. Somehow, quite a few notable "accomplishments" (many of which Virginians probably deserve an apology for) didn't make the list. Lucky you, we're here to round them up today!

  • McDonnell earned the nickname "Governor Ultrasound" in 2012 when he signed legislation mandating ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion. Faced with the opposition of 55% of Virginians, 33,000 petition signatures, and thousands of protestors on Capitol Square, McDonnell chose to answer the calls of extremists in his own party rather than those of his constituents.

  • McDonnell stumbled right out of the gate when he declared Confederate History Month (and forgot to mention slavery). The outrage was swift and severe. McDonnell cancelled Confederate History Month.

  • McDonnell's Star Scientific gift scandal was so long and ridiculous, it required not only a timeline graphic to keep up with all the gifts--but then we had to make updates!

  • McDonnell cut billions from health care and education--and bragged about it. Just a day after McDonnell's Education Department admitted that federal stimulus funds saved or created at least 7,715 Virginia teacher jobs threatened by state budget cuts, McDonnell took to CNN to brag about the "billions of dollars" he cut from education and health care.

  • McDonnell kicked off our Turkey of the Year awards! Somehow this honor didn't make the cut for inclusion in last night's speech, but Governor McDonnell was the lucky recipient of ProgressVA's first-ever Turkey of the Year award. The illustrious honor recognized of his use of budget gimmicks to mislead and confuse Virginians while bolstering his reputation. ProgressVA delivered a frozen turkey to the Governor's office to commemorate this honor.

  • McDonnell gave us plenty of work to do, debunking his bogus budget claims. McDonnell's budget proposals budget proposals did a lot of things, but few of them resulted in progress for Virginia families. Instead he disguised budget realities by moving funds from one program to another, surreptitiously raiding the General Fund to generate headlines, and stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

  • McDonnell gave our local communities plenty of heardburn. His massive budget cuts meant ur communities had to cope with even less support from the state. Unable or unwilling to meet the state's commitment to fund quality public services, McDonnell simply shirked the responsibility responsibility and passed financial burdens on down.

McDonnell may be out of the Governor's Mansion on Saturday, but he shouldn't fear Virginians will forget him anytime soon. In fact, it looks like we'll be paying his legal bills for quite a while. The bills have already topped three quarters of a millions dollars don't look like they'll stop any time soon.

Have a lowlight from the past four years you think should have made it into last night's speech? Share it with us in the comments!

 

Turkey. Football. Food coma. Relatives poorly informed about politics. While Ken Cuccinelli probably isn't showing up to your Thanksgiving dinner this year (or maybe he is. We don't know your life), his right-wing talking points might. Everyone has friends and family members who love to debate politics even though they have no clue what they are talking about.

The amount of nonsense can be overwhelming, and their bumper sticker logic can be mind-boggling. But don't despair! We have everything you need to set the record straight on Obamacare. Mashed potatoes not included.

Crazy Cousin Says: Obamacare isn't working. People aren't enrolling.
You Say: Actually, more than one million people are shopping in the online marketplace. We can all agree that the website problems are inexcusable. But, enrollment will only go up as the website functions better. People have to take their time researching options before purchasing health insurance.

Crazy Cousin Says: We gave Obamacare a chance and it doesn't work. We should just repeal the law.
You Say: Actually, Republicans haven't given the bill a chance--instead they've worked from Day 1 to undermine its success. There are parts of the law we definitely need to modify. But we're Americans. If we work together, we can do anything. Right now our representatives should come together to improve the law, not tear it down and force us to go back to the old, broken system.

Crazy Cousin Says: These health insurance cancellations just go to show Obamacare will leave people worse off.
You Say: Unlike in the past, when insurance companies could drop your policy or deny you coverage for any reason, millions of Americans now have access to better coverage at affordable prices. Most people who are losing their cut-rate insurance policies will be able to find better deals for better coverage in the health exchange. In fact, a lot of those people will qualify for financial subsidies to purchase policies that have better protections than they had before.

Crazy Cousin Says: America has the best health care in the world. Why break it?
You Say: You're right, we have amazing health care providers in this country. But let's not forget how broken our system of accessing that care really was. Before the Affordable Care Act, 1 in 5 people applying on the individual market were actuallydenied coverage. Up to 43 percent of people on the individual market had a pre-existing condition and insurance companies could charge them more. Insurance companies were charging women as much as 150 percent more than men. Now, insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or discriminate based on health status or your sex. And no one will go bankrupt trying to pay for live-saving medical care.

Crazy Cousin Says: The Medicaid system is already too expensive. We can't afford to expand it.
You Say: In fact, expanding Medicaid to provide affordable health coverage to up to 400,000 Virginians would actually save our state money. The Medicaid expansion would create jobs and lower health care costs because we won't have to pay for the cost of uninsured in emergency rooms. Most of the people who would benefit from the Medicaid expansion are the working poor: folks with jobs who can't afford health insurance. If we don't expand Medicaid, we'll leave our very poorest citizens without access to quality and affordable health care.

Crazy Cousin Says:Requiring business to provide coverage for contraception is an attack on religious freedom.
You Say: Actually, the administration's policy protects religious liberty and women's health. Nearly 99 percent of women have relied on contraception in their lives, butmore than half of women between 18 and 34 years old have struggled to afford it. The administration's policy means religiously-affiliated organizations won't have to provide birth control coverage if they object. But it also means that your employer doesn't get veto power over your access to health care. That's something we should all be able to agree on.

 

 

What we're offering: ProgressVA's legislative interns will play a crucial role in our General Assembly program by monitoring legislation and helping inform the public of prospective policy changes. Interns may be asked to assist with additional programs as time permits. Legislative intern responsibilities will include:

  • Attending legislative hearings at the General Assembly
  • Writing blog posts and talking points
  • Tracking legislation
  • Researching policy proposals and public opinion
  • Assisting with earned media events and communications campaigns
  • Writing press materials, including letters to the editor, op-eds, and press releases
  • Other duties as assigned

We want you if you are:

  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Innovative, creative, and ready to learn from failure (failure is part of the work: embrace it, learn from it, and move on)
  • A motivated self-starter with a strong work ethic
  • A strong writer and researcher
  • Knowledgeable of, and interested in, state and national politics
  • Committed to advancing progressive policy and values
  • Flexible to work on new projects as needed
  • Able to work a minimum of 8 hours/week
  • Able to spend 1 morning or afternoon/week at the General Assembly (Friday afternoons don't count.)

When/Where/Who: Interns will be required to attend legislative hearings at the State Capitol in Richmond, VA on an on-going basis. ProgressVA operates a virtual office and when not at the General Assembly, interns will be expected to execute writing and research projects on their own.

Interns will work closely with the Executive Director and Director of Online Programs as well as have the opportunity to interact with our progressive partners.

Internships (and the General Assembly session) run from January - March.

Still Interested? Here's how to apply:

Send your resume and cover letter to Anna Scholl at anna@progressva.org

 

 

Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain have been trying to fool Virginians recently, saying they wouldn't support extreme legislation that would ban abortions and some forms of birth control. Unfortunately (for them), actions speak louder than their new words. We tracked down the facts so you don't have to. 

That's right, Cuccinelli and Obenshain supported extreme, anti-abortion personhood legislation in 2007, 2011, AND 2012. Now they want us to believe their extreme attacks on women are all in the past? We're not buying it, and neither should you. 

Watch the video, and then be sure to share it with your friends and family so they get the facts too.

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Share on TwitterTweet it: VIDEO - Cuccinelli and Obenshain's true record on personhood exposed http://bit.ly/17R7LuW via @ProgressVA

 

As details continue to drip out about Governor Bob McDonnell's relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Ken Cuccinelli's relationship with the same donor is becoming more and more problematic. As noted in numerous news reports, Cuccinelli accepted and failed to disclose gifts from Williams and bought stock in his company while Star Scientific sued the Commonwealth.

With the wave of new revelations, we've had to update our timeline graphic we first sent you in April. From free flights, to wedding gifts and FBI investigations, ProgressVA wants to help you see, understand, and then share with others, the extent of McDonnell and Cuccinelli's unethical behavior. The new updates are highlighted in yellow.

We need your help in making sure Cuccinelli is held accountable for his actions at the debate this Saturday - so please don't forget after you read the graphic to share it below.

 

Ken Cuccinelli is one step closer to his "ultimate goal, which is to make abortion disappear in America." NOVA Women's Healthcare, the state's largest women's health center, announced this week it is closing in the face of burdensome and unnecessary state regulations. Cuccinelli, as Attorney General, overstepped the bounds of his office and bullied the State Board of Health into approving restrictions on women's health centers that are designed to shut them down. The rules are opposed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and medical professionals. The restrictions require women's health centers that perform safe and legal first trimester abortions to retrofit their facilities to meet the building requirements for newly constructed hospitals, a standard to which no other health care provider is held. Thanks to Cuccinelli's political interference and right-wing extremism, thousands of women in Northern Virginia have lost access to affordable, comprehensive reproductive health care services.

 

Washington Post: Fairfax City abortion clinic, busiest in Virginia, closes

WAMU: New Regulations Force Fairfax Abortion Clinic To Close

Huffington Post: Virginia Abortion Clinic, Busiest In State, Closes Due To New State Regulations

Associated Press: Fairfax abortion clinic closes

Examiner: Virginia's busiest abortion clinic forced to close  

WTOP: Virginia's busiest abortion clinic in Fairfax closes

NBC Washington: Women's Health Clinic That Performed Abortions Closes in Fairfax

 

Virginia politicians frequently point out how much better Richmond functions than Washington, D.C. One area where DC has a leg up, however? Ethics rules.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the District of Columbia's ethics board has fined Council Member Marion Barry $13,600 for accepting illegal and unethical gifts. Barry was sanctioned with a fine equal to double the amount of the gifts he received. (Washington Post, July 11, 2013)

Earlier this week, the Washington Post also reported that Governor Bob McDonnell and his family have now received, directly and indirectly, at least $145,000 from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Star Scientific not only has an ongoing tax lawsuit versus the state of Virginia, but Governor McDonnell and his wife have also been major supporters of the company, a relationship for which McDonnell is currently under federal investigation. (Washington Post, July 9, 2013)

If Governor McDonnell was held to the same ethical standard as DC City Council Member Marion Barry, McDonnell's fine of double the gifts he has allegedly received would equal $290,000. Maybe it's time for Virginia politicians to take that whole "we're better than D.C." line to heart and take ethics reform seriously.

 

 

Cuccinelli's Koch Party

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koch button.jpgBillionaire and right-wing Tea Party funder David Koch has next to nothing in common with the Virginia working families Ken Cuccinelli wants to represent as Governor. But tonight, Cuccinelli will be collecting big checks from Koch and his right-wing buddies, not working for Virginia families.

Virginians know how this works -- corporate sponsors who fund multi-million dollar political campaigns call the shots once their candidates are in office. Given Ken Cuccinelli's history of memory lapses when it comes to fully reporting gifts from well-heeled friends like Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Virginians certainly have cause to worry.

Cuccinelli has already received $50,000 from Koch Industries for his gubernatorial campaign and tonight's invitation plainly states, "Please note that 'Ken Cuccinelli for Governor' is able to accept unlimited corporate, personal, and PAC contributions."

What's with the Koch addiction? Cuccinelli's priorities are far more in sync with David Koch than with Virginia families. Consider:

Gun Violence Prevention
Koch is a major funder of the gun manufacturers' lobbying arm, the National Rifle Association. Cuccinelli has voted at least seven times against background checks on gun sales. Virginia families? They overwhelmingly support background checks, including support from 91% of gun owners.

Climate Change
David Koch and his brother, Charles, made billions off of polluting oil. They've funneled millions of dollars in to organizations like the Heartland Institute, which are dedicated to denying climate science and the existence of man-made global warming. Ken Cuccinelli is a notorious climate denier, even going so far as to sue University of Virginia researcher Michael Mann over his climate research. But Virginia families? According to the Virginian-Pilot, "three out of four Virginians think global warming is real and most want government at all levels - federal, state and local - to take actions to fight it."

Working Families
The Koch Brothers have spent hundreds of millions of their over $60B fortune lobbying Congress and funding political campaigns across the country. Ken Cuccinelli has taken lavish gifts from wealthy donors since joining public office, including free vacations, gifted travel, and tickets to sporting events. Virginia families? The average Virginia family makes $63,000 a year and doesn't employ an expensive lobbyist to secure lucrative tax breaks. We rely on our elected officials to work for us. So, good luck with that.

 

Below, ProgressVA's 2013 GOP Convention Guide, Limited Women's Health Edition details the records of the Virginia GOP candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General on women's reproductive rights and access to health care. As the guide demonstrates, no matter who is nominated on Saturday, they will form a ticket with a long history of attempts to ban abortion and limit women's access to reproductive care.

Some of the extreme policies supported by Cuccinelli and a range of Lt. Governor and Attorney General candidates include:

  • "Personhood" legislation that would criminalize some forms of birth control 
  • TRAP restrictions that impose medically unnecessary building requirements on women's health centers in an attempt to ban abortion by shutting down clinics
  • Invasive, transvaginal ultrasounds before a woman can obtain an abortion
  • Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood's cancer screenings and preventative health care services

 

2013 Convention Guide, Limited Women's Health Edition by ProgressVA

 

Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli's relationship with Star Scientific and its CEO is making headlines across the Commonwealth and generating questions about conflicts of interest and ethics violations. The story is complicated, with numerous gifts, vacations, flights, and law suits. To make sure you understand just what Cuccinelli and McDonnell have been up to, ProgressVA has put together this timeline to shed light on the lucrative relationship between one company, the Governor, and Attorney General of Virginia.

From free flights, to wedding gifts, to FBI investigations, ProgressVA wants to help you see, understand, and then share with others, the extent of their exploitation and what McDonnell and Cuccinelli believe is acceptable.

star scientific timeline.jpg

 

While litigation concerning Star Scientific, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's sole stock investment, continues to languish, the Attorney General's office has moved swiftly to challenge a recent court ruling striking down Virginia's anti-sodomy law. The Washington Blade reports Cuccinelli filed a petition with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for the full 15-judge panel to reconsider the ruling that Virginia's legislation is unconstitutional under Lawrence v Texas. Citizens and taxpayers would be right to wonder why Cuccinelli insists on wasting public dollars fighting to keep government in the bedroom while it sits on its hands in a case where he has financial conflicts.

 

Violence Against Women Act

It's incredible that any politician would champion the rights of violent criminals at the expense of women and children's safety. But many conservatives in Congress, under Eric Cantor's leadership, voted yesterday to oppose renewing protections for abused women and children. Meanwhile, they're fighting for the power of criminals, rapists, and stalkers to get guns. Stronger gun laws help keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals. The Violence Against Women Act revolutionized the way we prosecute violent criminals. House conservatives refuse to support both.

The new bipartisan Violence Against Women Act bill resolves the procedural complaint House conservatives used as an excuse to force this landmark law to expire -- but it didn't resolve their opposition to extending the law's protections to more women. A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than 7 times if he's got a gun. Our laws should protect all women and children from violence and keep violent criminals from getting guns, and the new Violence Against Women Act does just that.

 

Rather than pursue home grown education solutions to improve state schooling, much of Governor Bob McDonnell's education "reform" proposals have mirrored policies pushed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. As McDonnell appears with Jindal today to promote their plans for school "recovery districts", it might be useful to review the programs' outcomes in Louisiana.

  • Recent Education Week evaluation ranked Virginia 4th nationally for educational policy and performance. In contrast, Louisiana, whose model McDonnell is following, scored significantly lower and was ranked 23rd overall. [Education Week 2012 State Report Cards]

  • The recovery school district model, which McDonnell has labeled "Opportunity Educational Institutions", remove community decision makers from oversight over local schools while opening the door for for-profit and charter operators to take over with little accountability.

  • Research conducted by Kristen Buras of Georgia State University's Department of Educational Policy Studies found student achievement did not improve in Louisiana's Recovery School Districts (RSD). [National Education Policy Center]

  • A separate legislative audit report found the RSD did not effectively monitor performance of the charter school operators. [National Education Policy Center]

  • Louisiana's RSD was sued because charter school operators were not admitting low-income and special education students. [National Public Radio]

  • The Georgia State University study also found lawmakers continually changed the goal posts for failing schools, shunting more schools into the RSD and into the hands of charter school operators. [National Education Policy Center]

 

Elements of Governor Bob McDonnell's education "reform" agenda follow closely policies supported and advocated by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. McDonnell will join Bush on a conference call this afternoon to discuss his A-F school grading proposal, an idea Bush's educational foundation has championed. A recent expose by a public interest organization foundBush's educational foundation frequently advocated for state education laws and regulations that could benefit its corporate funders, including private virtual schools operators like K-12, Inc. According the Virginia Public Access Project, McDonnell has also accepted significant funds from for-profit education corporations, including $55,000 from K-12, Inc. since 2009.

 

According to the Virginian Pilot, a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday advanced SB723, a bill introduced by Senator Bill Carrico that would radically redistribute Virginia's electoral votes. Rather than award the electors on the basis of which candidate won the most votes, Carrico's scheme would essentially gerrymander the presidential elections, giving priority to the size of the geography won, rather that the number of votes.

Carrico's bill could be heard in the full Senate Privileges and Elections Committee as soon as Tuesday. But, while the scheme would give the GOP a definite advantage in 2016 (since they've already gerrymandered the congressional districts to their benefit), not all members of the caucus have supported similar past proposals.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling opposed an electoral vote gerrymander scheme as a State Senator.

In 2001, Senator Mary Margaret Whipple introduced SB1219 to allocate Virginia's electoral votes according to the popular vote in each congressional district. The bill failed in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee. Then-State Senator Bill Bolling, as well as Senators Norment, Martin, and Hanger opposed the bill. [Legislative Information System]

Four GOP State Senators opposed a similar 2008 measure.
In 2008, State Senator John Miller introduced legislation to award Virginia's electoral votes according to the popular vote in each congressional district. The measure failed in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee on a 2-9 vote. Senators Martin, Obenshain, Blevins, and Vogel opposed the bill. [Legislative Information System]

State Senator Jill Vogel opposed 2008 gerrymandering bill.
Vogel voted against a 2008 measure in committee. [Legislative Information System]

GOP State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and GOP Lt. Governor nominee candidate and State Senator Steve Martin have twice voted against electoral vote gerrymander bills.  
As State Senators, Norment and Martin opposed measures in both 2001 and 2008. [Legislative Information SystemLegislative Information System]