Justice By The Numbers

I picked up my Sunday copy of the Daily Times and thought that I had fallen into a copy of Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers .  The white liberal guilt oozed from the paper’s lead editorial.  If truth in advertising applied to the media, Look Closer at Arrest Patterns would be more fairly titled Arrest By the Numbers

Are African-American’s arrested in higher numbers on the Delmarva Peninsula?  I have no doubt.  I’m not accusing reporters Vanessa Junkin and Rachel Pacella of lying.

However, the published numbers demand that additional questions be asked.  Are African-Americans being falsely arrested?  If so, shouldn’t the prosecutors responsible for these cases demand better, more just, work by their respective police forces?

Yet, we see no evidence from the paper’s reporting that this is the case.  Sure, some folks are unjustly arrested.  Some may be black; some white, some brown.  I have no doubt that this happens and hope that the police will clean up their act when it does occur.  I even believe that some innocent people are unjustly convicted.  I also believe that this is the exception rather than the rule.

[Read more…]

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Racist Cops?

Salisbury’s Daily Times feels the need to stir the pot of racial animus on Delmarva.  African-Americans are arrested in proportionally higher numbers.  What is new about that?  This is a sad fact.  We should all wish that the crime rate were lower.  However, I don’t believe that victims of crimes are particularly concerned about the race of the criminals.

Is anyone accusing law enforcement officers of NOT arresting white criminals?  Is anyone accusing prosecutors of NOT trying white criminals?  If so, I missed that part of Vanessa Junkin’s and Rachel Pacella’s article.

Instead, such reporting merely serves as an excuse for certain “community leaders” to spout off about non-existent ills within our community.  Mary Ashanti, president of the Wicomico branch of the NAACP, compared the criminal justice system to an ante-bellum plantation:

“The statistics of the over-representation of blacks arrested in Wicomico County, Maryland, represent an ongoing contradiction since the end of chattel slavery," part of her emailed statement reads. "That contradiction being that slavery never ended, it was just legally maneuvered to justify its existence by way of punishment through the courts and as a viable economic entity.

"The gross disparity in the incarceration rates between blacks and caucasians will only widen until every able-bodied young black male has been herded into the concentration camps of the American prison-industrial complex.”

At Tuesday’s Wicomico County Council meeting Ashanti spoke eloquently against racial profiling.  She served herself, and the constituency she claims to represent, well.  But to compare the arresting of criminals to slavery serves no one other than the tiny minority who make their livings from fomenting racial hatred – both black and white.

It is obvious that Gannett’s motivation behind such race baiting was to sell papers.  They admit that this series of articles is an attempt to tie local news in with the unrest in Ferguson, MO.  They would probably like nothing better than a nice, bloody riot to help boost their bottom line.

As for me, I hope that every law enforcement officer in the country is like Accomack Sheriff Tod Godwin:

"We don’t see race, we don’t see gender.  We see probable cause for an arrest."

It’s odd no one mentioned that Sheriff Godwin is African-American.

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Coleman for Virginia Senate

Tomorrow is another election day … at least on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Voters in Virginia’s 6th senatorial district, which includes the ESVA along with sections of Norfolk and Mathews County, will have the opportunity to elect a replacement for Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam.  They will choose between Del. Lynwood Lewis (D-100) and Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman.  The choice is simple.  Coleman exemplifies the values on which the people of Accomac and Northampton counties take pride in – hard work, individualism, devotion to family and community, and fiscal responsibility.

Coleman personifies Eastern Shore values.  Virginia needs more small businessmen (and women) like Coleman in the General Assembly, not more lawyers like Lewis.  Lewis, while living on the Shore, has shown himself to be a poster child for “Richmond values”, voting for tax hikes, more spending, and growth in state government.

Lewis obviously hopes that the historical parochialism of Virginia’s Eastern Shore will be enough to get him to the Senate.  The ESVA has always been the “red headed step-child” of Virginia.  The state government routinely neglects to even include the Shore on official images of the Commonwealth.  Shore residents can hardly be blamed for their inherent parochialism.  However, when Shore voters have chosen folks from across the Bay to represent them in Richmond they have been well-served.  While I may have my own problems with Sen. Tommy Norment (R-3), does anyone (other than Bill Fears) honestly argue that he did not serve the Shore well?  Northam played on the ESVA’s inherent parochialism to defeat Nick Reras and voted more like a senator from Arlington County than the Eastern Shore.

Sending Lewis to the Virginia Senate is akin to “cutting your nose off to spite your face”.  Akin to Shore Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, Lewis tosses his “Shore values” in a bin* when he crosses the Bay on his way to Richmond.  In Richmond he has represented the Democrat Party, NOT the 100th District or the Eastern Shore.  Coleman will represent, and fight to protect, those Shore values irrespective of where he resides.  Why?  Because they are not just “Eastern Shore values”.  They are Virginia values.  They are American values.

* – Thanks to Maryland Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B) for his now famous analogy from the 2010 election.

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Virginia Taxpayers Subsidizing Anti-Americanism at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, VA – With taxes on the rise and government clamoring for more spending, why are Virginia taxpayers subsidizing the activities of a Virginia Tech professor who attacks the United States and our troops?  On Sunday Salon.com published a piece by Tech English professor Steve Salaita where the professor equates “supporting our troops” with jingoism and American imperialism.

Salaita goes so far as to belittle our troops in the field and calls them beggars:

In addition to donating change to the troops, we are repeatedly impelled to “support our troops” or to “thank our troops.” God constantly blesses them. Politicians exalt them. We are warned, “If you can’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.” One wonders if our troops are the ass-kicking force of P.R. lore or an agglomeration of oversensitive duds and beggars.

Such troop worship is trite and tiresome, but that’s not its primary danger. A nation that continuously publicizes appeals to “support our troops” is explicitly asking its citizens not to think. It is the ideal slogan for suppressing the practice of democracy, presented to us in the guise of democratic preservation.

Salaita certainly has a right to his opinion.  Taxpayers have a right to ask if they should be forced to subsidize it.  Salaita argues that “troop worship” is encouraging citizens not to think.  On the contrary, non-governmental efforts to support our troops does just the opposite.  As someone who opposed President Bush’s attack on Iraq and who now opposes President Obama’s sabre rattling in Syria, I appreciate the opportunity to show support for our men and women in uniform.  For those of us who do oppose war, we are afforded the opportunity to do so AND support the men and women who volunteer to lay their lives on the line for their country.  Soldiers don’t start wars.

I know, Salaita has First Amendment rights and must be afforded “academic freedom”.  He certainly has a right to free speech.  That does not mean taxpayers (or tuition paying parents) should be forced to subsidize it.  As for academic freedom, this doesn’t apply.  Salaita is paid to teach English.  He is a tenured professor at a large, state-supported university.  As such he is a representative of that school.

In a state with the proud military tradition of Virginia (a state which is one of two with state-supported military colleges) and which serves as the home base for tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should the state taxpayer be subsidizing such an individual.  If Salaita worked in the private sector, he would be on his way out if he hadn’t been escorted out on Monday.

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If Cuccinelli Gives Facts, It’s an ATTACK

The Daily Press’s Shad Plank blog calls this video released by GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli an “attack” ad.  No one questions the facts imparted in the video.  The outlets which have been covering Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe’s less than open departure from GreenTech certainly don’t share a reputation for conservative or Republican bias.  They include Politico, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.

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Today’s Weather – April 11, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy skies during the morning giving way to a few showers late. High 67F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

Tonight –
Showers developing late tonight with the possibility of a thunderstorm. Low 51F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 77F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 61F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Very warm. High 83F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Some clouds and possibly an isolated thunderstorm late. Low 67F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

[Read more…]

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Today’s Weather – April 10, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 84F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Isolated thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy after midnight. Low around 60F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
A mix of clouds and sun. Very warm. High 84F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 62F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Very warm. High 88F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Mainly clear skies. Low 64F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

[Read more…]

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McAuliffe Ends Career as “Green” Executive

RICHMOND, VA – Presumptive Democrat nominee for the Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, appears to have ended his ties with electric car company GreenTech.  While McAuliffe submitted his resignation as chairman on December 1, 2012, the information was not made public until last Friday.

“Terry McAuliffe’s walking away as chairman of GreenTech Auto undercuts what was supposed to be his chief qualification for office,” said Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix.

“His sudden and shady resignation exposes the fact that all the hype and fanfare was nothing more than smoke and mirrors for a business that has always been more about keeping McAuliffe in the headlines than creating jobs.”

McAuliffe’s campaign claims that his resignation was motivated by his commitment to running for governor.

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Today’s Weather – April 8, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Sun and clouds mixed. Warm. High 74F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy skies this evening. A few showers developing late. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 74F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy this evening with more clouds for overnight. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 58F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Partly cloudy. High 77F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
A few passing clouds. Low near 60F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

[Read more…]

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News from the Old Dominion – Feb. 7, 2013

 

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Can Romney Make It Over the Top?

MITT’S ROMNEY’S EGO COULD COST OUR NATION DEARLY

Despite a lack of economic growth and continuing unemployment, President Barack Obama continues to run even with GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the polls.  Can Romney pull ahead and take the White House from the second coming of Jimmy Carter?  We hope so.  Deposing Barack Obama will certainly be better for the nation and our economy.  Will he?

It is almost certain that the race will be decided in a few key states:  Virginia, Ohio, and Florida to name a few.  Polling is expected to be tight.  Why then did the Romney campaign choose to throw away the potential support of libertarian leaning conservatives at the recent Republican National Convention?  By passing rules which are arrogant at best, despotic at worst, movement conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Paulistas are seriously questioning the wisdom of voting Romney / Ryan on November 6th.  Many of these same activists are just as, if not more, furious over the Romney campaign’s decision to strip legally elected Ron Paul delegates of their credentials to prevent Paul’s name from being placed in nomination.

In Delaware we could also see viable candidates like state senate candidate Ernest Lopez fall in a close race because of Romney’s actions (Lopez, like Romney, is viewed as an “establishment Republican”).  In Virginia, former governor and senator George Allen could pay the cost of Romney’s folly.  It is ironic that Dan Bongino could benefit from the active participation of disaffected conservatives in Maryland.  Unfortunately, Maryland is not likely to overthrow Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) any more than it is likely to give its 10 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.

If Romney loses any of these swing states by a few thousand votes, he can blame no one but himself.  Sending Ron Paul supporters to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or Constitution candidate Virgil Goode could cost Romney and this nation mightily.  Keeping them within the GOP fold would have cost his campaign nothing other than showing them the respect they are do.

Our view is simple – do what is best for the country and vote Mitt Romney.  In four years liberty loving conservatives can reevaluate.  Objectively there is no question – Mitt Romney would make a better president than Barack Obama.  Working hard for candidates, and letting them know that you are supporting them and NOT the GOP, is the best message you can send.  Merely sitting on your hands and hoping for what might have been is not serving your country; it simply helps extreme leftist Democrats to maintain effective control.

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Ryan Coming Back to Virginia Friday

RICHMOND, VA – Presumptive GOP VP nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will return to the Richmond area on Friday.  Ryan will host a Victory Rally at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen at 11 AM.  Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling plan to attend.

The event is free and anyone wishing to attend should RSVP online.  The doors will open at 9 AM.

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It’s Wednesday – Does Joe Biden Know Where He Is?

DANVILLE, VA – Joe Biden, the man that was supposed to help give Barack Obama gravitas, the human gaffe machine, is at it again.  On a campaign stop in VIRGINIA, he told the voters – “WITH YOU, WE CAN WIN NORTH CAROLINA AGAIN!”

We can expect the mainstream media to levy any possible attack against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  Will they ever give equal time to a President who doesn’t know how many states there are in the union or a V.P. that doesn’t have a clue where he is?

H/T – JR Hoeft @ Bearing Drift

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Cuccinelli Files Brief in Favor of Individual Gun Rights in Maryland

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Virginia and thirteen other states in Maryland’s appeal of a federal district court ruling in Woollard v. Gallagher.  The district court ruled that Maryland’s requirement that citizens show a “good and substantial reason” when applying for a concealed carry permit violates an individual’s second amendment rights.  Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who opposes individual gun rights, is appealing the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Cuccinelli’s brief argues that Maryland’s "good and substantial reason" requirement to obtain a handgun carry permit for self-defense outside of the home "impinges on the constitutional rights of its citizens."

The brief also argues that Maryland cannot justify the broad restriction because it has "less-restrictive alternatives" available to address safety concerns, and argues that research shows "right-to-carry laws do not result in criminal violence."

H/T – Norm Leahy @ Bearing Drift

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Romney Endorses Bolling, Retracts

ASHLAND, VA – Fresh off the announcement of conservative Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney appeared to endorse Virginia lieutenant governor Bill Bolling for governor in 2013.  After being informed that Bolling was not the only Republican in the race, Romney was forced to backpedal on his statement.

“And we’re counting on you to make sure that when [Governor] Bob McDonnell retires — I know this one-term thing is an unusual thing in Virginia — we want to make sure to have a Republican take his place,” Romney told the overflow crowd he addressed after the main rally. “There are a couple of guys in the race. I love them both. I want to see one of those guys take his place.”

Bolling is being challenged for the 2013 nomination by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  Cuccinelli is a hero among tea party and “values” voters.  These are the very groups that Romney hopes to mobilize with his VP pick.

Bolling was the first statewide official to endorse Romney’s candidacy.

READ MORE …

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Romney to Announce VP Pick in Norfolk

NORFOLK, VA – In a few minutes, on the deck of beside the USS Wisconsin, presumptive GOP nominee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will announce that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be his pick to be the next Vice President of the United States.

Contrasting an Obama administration which is the first in history to fail to submit a budget, Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the author of a plan to scale back the size of the federal government and reduce the country’s crippling national debt.

READ MORE …

UPDATE –

from Paul Ryan’s speech:
President Obama … “cares more about their next election than the next generation.”

“We look at one another’s success with pride … not resentment”.

“Our rights come from nature and God, NOT the government.”

“We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes”.

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Virginia Will Be Better Off If McDonnell is Passed Over for VP

Our friends at Bearing Drift have called it.  The Virginian-Pilot has run a front page story about it.  Will Virginia governor Bob McDonnell be Mitt Romney’s pick for Vice President?

I sure hope not.  Such a move would be bad for the nation … and for the Commonwealth.

A formerly great leader, in the conservative Virginia tradition, McDonnell has displayed a series of character flaws since becoming discussed as a potential Vice Presidential nominee.  Bluntly, McDonnell has suffered from “Eric Cantor syndrome” – the willingness to do or say nearly anything to further one’s political career or chances.

When McDonnell was named chairman of the RNC platform committee, that should have been the key signal that he was no longer in the running.  Unfortunately, McDonnell and his supporters seemed to double down on their hopes.  If Mitt Romney names his running mate in the next few days, we can only hope that McDonnell will reflect and attempt a return to principle and moderately conservative governance.

McDonnell and his advisors need only look at this year’s Senate race to see what happens when a politician waivers from their core principles or allows ambition to take precedence.

George Allen IS the greatest Virginia governor of my lifetime.  After reforming the state government and setting a standard for all successors to follow, Allen went to Washington but seemed to be more concerned with “getting along” than changing America.  Allen was expected to launch a bid for the White House in 2008.  George just forgot one thing … he needed to get re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.  Assembling a campaign team with “national experience”, Allen lost his seat to Jim Webb and ended all hopes of a presidential bid.

Ambition is a good thing; if it motivates you in the right direction.  George Allen had to learn that lesson the hard way.  We hope that Bob McDonnell can learn from the mistakes of others, as well as his own recent mistakes, and move forward in a positive, principled direction.

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Crossroads Unveils New Anti-Kaine Ad

WASHINGTON – Broadcasters in Maryland are green with envy as Virginia and DC market stations are rolling in newly found revenue thanks to Virginia being a swing state.  In the Hampton Roads market it seems you can’t flip the channel without coming across a Romney, Obama, Allen, Kaine, or Super PAC ad.  We can only assume that this applies to the rest of the Commonwealth as well.  The latest example – a $7.2 buy from Crossroads GPS targeting former governor and Democrat Senate hopeful Tim Kaine:

Just like his pal Barack Obama, Kaine’s comeback is that his record shouldn’t be scrutinized, instead he encourages the media to focus on his opponent – former governor and senator George Allen.

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Virginia Board of Elections Takes a Pass on Voter Fraud Allegations

RICHMOND, VA – The State Board of Elections (SBE) has decided not to pursue allegations of voter fraud against the George Soros – funded Voter Participation Project.  The SBE received numerous complaints when mailings from the Washington-based group began arriving addressed to already-registered voters, as well as to children, non-citizens, the deceased and family pets.

READ MORE …

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Hirschbiel Unveils First Commercial

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Paul Hirschbiel, Democratic challenger for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District seat, has launched his first commercial.  Entitled “Teacher”, the ad focuses on Hirschbiel’s commitment to public education.

Hirschbiel is challenging freshman incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA).  Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District includes Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

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Is Student Progress Really Part of Teacher Evaluation Plan in Delaware?

DOVER, DE – Delaware’s Department of Education has finalized its teacher evaluation plan for the coming school year.  As a requirement for its federal “Race to the Top” money, student progress must be a component.  Delaware claims that its standardized test scores will be a component for teachers of math and reading.  What isn’t clear is if the scores will be a true evaluation component or simply bureaucratic “sleight of hand” as in Maryland.

Earlier we had reported that Virginia was implementing a plan in which student progress would be used for 40% of a teacher’s evaluation.  We received comment that Maryland was using “student progress” for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation.  Delaware’s plan appears similar.

There is one major difference between the Virginia approach and that undertaken in Maryland (and presumably Delaware).  In Virginia, a poor evaluation could lead to a teacher’s contract not being renewed.  In Maryland it will be only a theoretical possibility that a poor teacher will not have his or her contract renewed because of a lack of student progress.

It should be noted that “progress” is the key word here.  Teachers of poor students should not be penalized because they didn’t turn their students into intellectual giants.  However, parents (and the public) have a right to expect progress.

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Virginia vs. Maryland … Again

According to the Daily Record:

Maryland lost 4.71 percent, or 6,494, of its small businesses from 2007 to 2010, a decrease that one fiscal policy group chalks up to the state’s tax increases.

The difference between the tax policies, and the flight of capital and jobs, was recently highlighted on the Fox Business Channel:

A key statistic – Virginia ranks as the 7th best place to do business.  Maryland?  40th.  While both states depend heavily on federal dollars, Virginia actively courts business – small and large.  Maryland actively drives businesses away.

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UVA Claims Giving Has Doubled Since President’s Reinstatement

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – An article published in the Virginian-Pilot provides frightening insight into the current state of Mr. Jefferson’s university and Mr. Batten’s newspaper.  Readers are told that giving to the University of Virginia doubled after the Board of Visitors reinstated president Teresa A. Sullivan.  Bob Sweeney, the university’s senior vice president for development and public affairs, wants us to believe that the four days between Sullivan’s reinstatement and the end of June was an adequate sample size to imply Sullivan coming back is the impetus for increased giving compared to the previous 16 days (between Sullivan’s forced ouster and her reinstatement).  How is that for poor scholarship?  Did Sweeney ever take an introductory statistics course?

As for the Virginian-Pilot, and the AP, they should know better.  In fact, it appears that they did; but published the article anyway.  Here is the closing paragraph:

It’s unclear how long the temporary boost following Sullivan’s reinstatement will last. Fundraising totals for July are not available yet and Sweeney said July and August are typically slow months.

How’s that for hedging one’s bets?  If giving in July and August are down, it’s because they are “slow months”.  If giving is up, I’m sure that Sullivan’s minions will giver her all of the credit.

We have no opinion as to Ms. Sullivan’s performance.  We also have to be careful in assessing the actions of Rector Helen Dragas and cheerleaders such as Paul Tudor Jones (our opinion of both is decidedly negative).  Yet, Dragas and alumni such as Jones made compelling arguments for Sullivan’s dismissal.  Now Sullivan is clearly put her PR machine into action.  Regardless of her future performance, Sullivan is all but untouchable.

There is only one clear winner in this ongoing debacle – Sullivan.  Virginia governor Bob McDonnell played the fool by intervening in this matter and then re-appointing Dragas immediately after Sullivan’s reinstatement.  Dragas and the visitors who forced Sullivan to resign showed that they cared more about a prestigious appointment than the university they claimed to love.  We only hope that the current and future students of UVA don’t suffer because of the ego and folly of a few.

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Government, Not Internet, Is Cause of Postal Service Default

Today the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will default on a $5.5 billion payment to the federal government to cover retiree health benefits.  In September they will default on another payment of $5.65 billion.  The federal government would like you to believe that the cause of the postal service’s decline is due to the internet.  I wish that were the case.

The USPS, once a department of the federal government and now a quasi-governmental agency, can only blame its “benefactors” in Washington for its demise.  Sure, the internet and cultural changes have impacted demand for the the USPS’s bread and butter first class mail service.  Myriad other “businesses” have faced similar challenges over the last 25 years.  Some have risen to the challenge and thrived.  Others have gone the way of the buggy whip.

[Read more…]

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“Voter Registration” Group Has Ties to Leftist Group MoveOn.org

RICHMOND, VA – Four years ago Virginians saw ACORN and its affiliates deluge Virginia registrars with falsified voter registration forms.  Of course, it was an “honest mistake” made by a few “overzealous canvassers”.

Move forward to 2012.  Instead of ACORN, it’s the Voter Participation Center.  Who are they tied to?  According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, they are hooked up with MoveOn.org, an organization slightly to the left of the Communist Party USA.

Mitt Romney is a bad guy because his campaign dares to ask questions about the registration of questionable voters.  AG Ken Cuccinelli is a bad man because his office dares to respond to a valid complaint filed by Romney for America.  You’re a bad person too if you actually believe that the voting process should be secure and only legitimate voters (you know – citizens, those not convicted of a felony, etc.) should be able to cast a ballot.

Welcome to Obama’s Amerika.

photo courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Virginia Finishes FY 2012 with Surplus

RICHMOND, VA – Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced that Virginia will finish fiscal year 2012 with a $129.2 million surplus.  This is the third year in a row that the Commonwealth has finished in the black.  FY 2011 ended with a $544.8 million surplus.  FY 2010 had $403 million of revenues in excess of expenses.

Source – Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Can You Imagine This in Salisbury?

SALISBURY, MD – We are constantly told that Salisbury city government is unique because of its ineptitude.  Really?

Let’s go a few hours south to the city of Chesapeake, VA.  In this sprawling city almost ten times larger than Salisbury, the Virginian-Pilot has been examining the cost overruns at a newly constructed jail.  City Council was never notified until AFTER the money had been expended.

The reasoning being this abuse of the taxpayer?  The city manager and his staff didn’t have a “mechanism” to adequately inform council.  Ever heard of email?

No, the problem doesn’t lie with Salisbury.  The problem lies with a seemingly lazy press in the Once Free State.  I may not like the editorial policies of papers like the Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press, or the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but they report the news.  In Salisbury the press stayed silent while their pals in city government handed out millions in developer reimbursements and approved every cost overrun on the WWTP.  Yet, Mayor Barrie Tilghman and council members like Mike Dunn, Gary Comegys, and Lynn Cathcart were held up by the press as paragons of virtue.

Who are the bad guys?  People like Joe Albero for reporting this information; and elected officials like Debbie Campbell because they dared to ask questions.

Shame on them.  I guess the people of Salisbury would prefer a system like Chesapeake’s.

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Student Progress to FINALLY be Part of Teacher Evaluations in Virginia

NORFOLK, VA – We’re always told that more taxpayer dollars must be spent on public education.  “It’s for the children!” is the mantra that was turned into a punch line during the administration of former President Bill Clinton.  Yet, using data as to whether or not a student actually learned when evaluating teachers was anathema, until now.  Starting this fall, up to 40% of a Virginia teacher’s evaluation will be based on whether or nor a student has actually progressed during the year.

It’s about time!  It would be great if states like Maryland actually learned a lesson.  Sadly, when the teachers’ unions are the biggest lobbyists in Annapolis, parents shouldn’t get their hopes up.

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Voters to Barack Obama – “It’s the Economy Stupid”

WASHINGTON – While incumbent President Barack Obama continues to hold on to a virtual tie with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, he lags further and further behind in voters’ views of his handling of the economy.  Currently Romney holds (nationally) a 3 – 1 lead among voters in this area.

Voters invested a lot in Barack Obama in 2008.  He was young, vital, and the first serious African-American candidate for president.  Yet, voters continue to pull away from Obama despite heavy spending on ads attacking Romney.

In the key swing state of Virginia it seems you can’t watch television for more than 20 minutes without seeing at least one Obama ad, almost all of them negative.  Yet the Washington Post, hardly a mouthpiece for the Romney campaign, reports that the race for Old Dominion voters is a tie.

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Cucinelli Behind Bolling in Money Race

Never to lose an opportunity to spin negative about Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, the Washington Post has reported that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling leads Cuccinelli in fundraising for the 2013 GOP gubernatorial nomination battle.  True enough.  Bolling is ahead … for now.

Here’s what the WaPo neglects to tell you:

  1. The nomination will now be decided by a convention; not a primary.  Cuccinelli’s strong appeal among conservative GOP activists heavily favors a victory for the incumbent Attorney General.
  2. Bolling’s current fundraising advantage will melt away as contributors realize that Bolling’s chances of victory has gone the way of buggy whips and the Edsel.
  3. Even if Bolling maintains a money advantage, short of promising to pay for  registration fees and hotel rooms, it’s difficult to buy the kind of support needed to win a convention (unless your opponent is flat broke).  Primaries can be bought with expensive, usually negative, media campaigns.  Grassroots activism is tougher to come by.
  4. The list goes on …

Granted, nothing is a sure thing.  That said, Cuccinelli is the voice of the conservative, activist wing of Virginia’s GOP.  The liberal media tried to dismiss Cuccinelli in 2009 and hope to do so again in 2013.

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Randall Named to VSU Board

CAPE CHARLES, VA – Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has appointed Northampton County Supervisor and businessman Willie Randall to the Virginia State University Board of Visitors.  Randall is a 1976 graduate of VSU.  After retiring from a 20 year career in the U.S. Army, Randall opened the Exmore office of the Edward Jones Investments.

"In this position, I will have an opportunity to give back to the university that gave so much to me," said Randall on Tuesday.

"I want to thank the governor for having confidence in me and for appointing me to this position. I look forward to helping this great university and my alma mater to shape the future of education."

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DelMarVa Municipalities Need to Act on Pension Reform

While Scranton, PA has been forced to reduce city worker salaries to minimum wage and San Bernadino, CA is the latest city to file for bankruptcy, cities and counties on the Delmarva peninsula continue to behave as if economic reality will never cross the Chesapeake Bay or jump the C&D canal.  As the population ages and more Delmarva taxpayers rely on fixed incomes, no municipality seems willing to acknowledge that future pension and medical costs simply cannot be funded forever.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in Wicomico County.

In 2011 the Wicomico County Council passed County Executive Rick Pollitt’s “early retirement” plan.  Under this boondoggle certain county employees have received larger pensions than they would have otherwise received.  In addition, others (such as the county’s former Public Information Officer) will receive lifetime medical benefits after only 5 years of service.  When this plan was adopted the council promised that they would look into reforming the county’s pension system.  While councilman Bob Culver has asked multiple times that the council fulfill their commitment to the voters, a majority has refused.

This year, the Wicomico Council used the Jim Mathias / Norm Conway / Rudy Cane mandated property tax hike to dole out raises to all county employees.  These raises increase the county’s future pension liabilities.  Maryland county governments are now on the hook for teacher pensions as well.

Pension and retiree medical benefits are the stealth costs which are bankrupting municipalities and crippling local economies across the country.  Our local governments don’t wish to address these issues because it’s too easy to ignore the problem and leave it for future generations (and future councils / commissioners) to address.  When local governments acknowledge that a problem exists, it can only be fixed by HUGE tax hikes, HEAVY benefit cuts, and often BANKRUPTCY.

These problems are easy to fix NOW.  Our local governments should do the responsible thing and ACT NOW.  Obviously, the states of Delaware, Maryland, and (and to a less extent) Virginia should act to reform their pension systems as well.  Unfortunately, we have no hope that these governments will act responsibly in the near future.

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Will Virginia’s New Voter ID Law Disenfranchise Voters?

RICHMOND, VA – Mike Baker of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has published an article attempting to argue that Virginia’s new voter ID law will disenfranchise thousands of legal voters while only preventing a relative few fraudulent votes.  Such an argument should only persuade those who have adopted belief in the nanny state.

You need an ID to drive to the polls.  You need one to cash a check or for literally hundreds of other types of transactions.  Yet, we are to believe that if people have to show ID at the polls some atrocity against democracy has been committed.

Of course, if you don’t have an ID you can still cast a provisional ballot.  Yes, you have to follow-up by providing proof of identity after the election.  On the one hand, leftists and people like Mr. Baker want you to believe that voting is sacred.  On the other, they also want you to believe that having to follow-up with your local electoral board is simply too great a burden to carry out this sacred duty.

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UVA Board Reinstates President

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Sixteen days after forcing the University of Virginia’s first woman president to resign, the Board of Visitors unanimously reinstated Teresa Sullivan.  Rector Helen Dragas, who orchestrated Sullivan’s ouster, apologized again to the university community for the way the matter was handled.  Dragas admitted that the matter should have been dealt with in a public meeting of the full board. Sullivan’s forced resignation was announced after a vote by a three-member quorum of the board’s executive committee, including Dragas.

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Former Principal Rejected for School Board Seat

ACCOMAC, VA – The Accomack County School Board Selection Commission has rejected the only applicant to a vacant seat on the Accomack County school board.  They will re-advertise the position.

Former Nandua High School principal Larry A. Thomas was the sole applicant for a vacancy on the school board for District 7.  Al McMath, who has held the seat for 16 years is not eligible for re-appointment because his home is no longer in District 7 after the county completed re-districting.  The Selection Commission voted Thomas down by a vote of 3-4.

Thomas, who worked for the Accomack County public schools for 34 years, retired in 2005 in the wake of standardized testing investigation.  Nandua High School subsequently lost its accreditation as a result of the investigation.

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UVA Board Member Resigns

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Mark Kington, Vice Rector of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors has submitted his resignation after the board appointed McIntire School of Commerce dean Carl Zeithaml as interim president.  The appointment was necessitated by the forced resignation of Teresa Sullivan.

"In order to better serve this university which I love and respect, and to help bring about new leadership on the Board of Visitors at this critical time, I am resigning my position as vice rector and as a board member effective immediately," Kington wrote to Gov. Bob McDonnell. "I believe that this is the right thing to do and I hope that it will begin a needed healing process at the university."

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Bill Bolling Showing Desperation

I had a lot of respect for Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.  HAD.  Bolling is so desperate to win his party’s nomination for governor in 2013 that he is sinking to levels usually reserved for the most radical Democrat.  Hypocrisy, and dishonesty, is of no concern when you want to win an election.

Bolling, who has previously been nominated for the Virginia Senate and for Lt. Governor by convention, now argues that conventions are evil.  Because active duty military personnel serving abroad cannot attend a convention, Bolling is NOW crying foul.

Three years ago we had troops serving in Europe, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and at other locations throughout the world; just as we do today.  Naval personnel are deployed all over the globe.  Virginia has a proud tradition of military service, so of course many of those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are Virginians.  Yet, I don’t recall any such shirt tearing by Bolling when he accepted his party’s nomination for LG in 2009.  So why now?

Today the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) meets in Richmond.  Among the items on their agenda is to change the method of nomination for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General in 2013 from primary to convention.  Last October the State Central Committee opted for a primary.  However, the make-up of the committee has changed during this year’s round of District Conventions.

OK, so why does Bolling oppose a convention now?

The conventional wisdom, and one to which Bolling obviously subscribes, is that Bolling will lose a convention to AG Ken Cuccinelli.  Yep, he probably will.  Cuccinelli is, justifiably, very popular with the party’s conservative faithful – the same people who tend to turn out for mass meetings and conventions.

Bolling has served Virginia well in the legislature and as Lt. Governor.  He simply faces tough opposition.  Does that mean he should stoop to hypocrisy?

I am reminded of a past Lt. Governor, John Hager.  Hager served as Lt. Governor and was sorely abused by his opponent, former Attorney General Mark Earley, while seeking the party’s nomination for governor.  While Hager, always a gentleman of the first order, lost the nomination, he exited that stage with his head held high and continued to serve the Commonwealth and his country.

I expect that, regardless of the State Central Committee’s decision today, Cuccinelli will wage a tough, honorable, and conservative campaign.  The Attorney General has not been pushing for the State Central Committee to change its method of nomination.  Recent polls show that Cuccinelli holds a commanding lead over Bolling if a primary was held.  Bolling’s recent behavior indicates that regardless of the nominating method Virginia Republicans can look forward to Bolling doing anything to become governor of the Old Dominion.

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Virginians Not Happy About EZ-Pass Fee

RICHMOND, VA – As Virginia begins to charge $1 / month for using an EZ-Pass, Delaware is the last state in the region that doesn’t charge a monthly fee.  The Virginia Department of Transportation has been taking comments on the proposed fee and acknowledge that most of the nearly 25,000 comments received have been in opposition to the fee.

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Biden to Deliver High School Commencement Address in VA Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – One way to know that a state is seriously in play in a presidential election is when the President or Vice President delivers a HIGH SCHOOL commencement address.  Today VP Joe Biden will be delivering a commencement speech at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach.

Biden is also delivered a commencement address earler this month at Central Bay High School in Weston, FL.  Coincidentally, Florida is another “in-play” state.

Source – Virginian-Pilot

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Allen, GOP Incumbents, Skate to Primary Wins

RICHMOND, VA – Former governor and U.S. senator George Allen easily won his party’s nomination to reclaim the seat Allen lost to retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA).  Despite light turnout, which should have favored Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke, Allen won 65% of the vote.  Radtke earned 23%, followed by Del. Bob Marshall with 7% and Chesapeake minister E. W. Jackson with 5%.  Allen will face former governor and DNC chairman Tim Kaine in the November’s general election.

Incumbent congressmen Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, and Bob Goodlatte all sailed to victory over primary opponents.

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Voter ID Does Not Apply to Today’s Virginia Primary

RICHMOND, VA – While much has been made of Virginia’s recently enacted Voter ID law, the new law does not apply to today’s primary.

The State Board of Elections issued a reminder in response to a news item, posted on a Richmond-area television station’s Web site, that reported incorrectly that the law would apply to the primary.

“Rumor Buster,” read the title on the board’s news release, which noted that the news item also stated incorrectly that the new law requires voters to provide a photo identification. A photo ID will not be required even when the law takes effect.

The law, which takes effect on July 1, will apply for those voting in Virginia’s general election on November 6th:

voters will be required to show one of the following: a state voter registration card; a Social Security card; a valid Virginia driver’s license; other state, local or federal identification; a valid student identification card issued by a Virginia institution of higher learning; a valid employee identification card; a current utility bill; a current bank statement; a current government check; a paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter; or a concealed-handgun permit.

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UVA President to Step Down

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – After less than two years on the job, University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan is stepping down, citing “philosophical differences” between herself and the school’s Board of Visitors.  Sullivan’s resignation is effective August 15th.  Sullivan will vacate her position after only two years and two weeks, the shortest tenure of any president in the University’s history.

photo courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Moving to Virginia?

Larry Hogan, chairman of Change Maryland and possible 2014 gubernatorial candidate, has an interesting article over at Reason.com.  Hogan outlines the steady exodus of Maryland-based businesses from the Once Free State to points north, south, and west – particularly to Virginia.  Thanks to the policies of O’Malley administration, along with increases in the state’s income tax rates, this exodus includes small businesses as well as large.

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Cuccinelli Gets Leg Up in 2013 Race

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli was going to run a tough campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination – no matter what method was used for choosing the party’s nominee.  Now Cuccinelli has been given a leg up; Cuccinelli supporters want to re-visit the party’s nomination method in 2013.

Last October the Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV) state central committee decided to nominate by primary in 2013.  This was the method preferred by incumbent Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.  Cuccinelli supporters would prefer a convention.  The Attorney General has great support among conservative activists, a group that tends to dominate conventions.  Thanks to several state central seats changing hands this year, it appears that supporters of a convention may now have the votes to change the nominating method.

Cuccinelli insists that he is not behind the move to change nominating methods:

“Ken is prepared to run, and win, in whatever method of nomination the State Central Committee decides is best for the party,’’ Cuccinelli political director Noah Wall said. “We’ve been anticipating running in a primary, but we’d obviously rather use the two to three million dollars we’d save in a convention to use against Democrats in a general election.’’

Bolling, as expected, is crying foul:

“The Republican Party voted to hold a primary in 2013,’’ Bolling spokeswoman Ibbie Hedrick said. “At least six candidates have made a decision to run for statewide office in the primary and taken significant steps to launch their primary campaigns. The question has clearly already been resolved. You can’t change the rules in the middle of an election. Any effort to change would be a clear violation of the commitment to the rule of law.”

photo courtesy of Politco.com

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Virginia State Fair Back On

DOSWELL, VA – Virginia will have a state fair this year.  Universal Fairs of Cordova, TN has purchased the fair site and intellectual property, including the fair’s trademark, website, and social media accounts for $5.67 million.  State Fair of Virginia, Inc. was forced into bankruptcy last year after failing to contain costs.

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Marital Confidentiality in a Digital Age

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Priest and penitent, doctor and patient, lawyer and client, husband and wife – communications between these parties have always been considered inviolate in America’s courts.  Or are they, in our new digital age?

This is the basis for an appeal filed by convicted former Virginia delegate Phil Hamilton.  During Hamilton’s trial last year for trading legislative favors for a consulting contract, Federal district court judge Henry Hudson allowed into evidence e-mails between Hamilton and his wife Kim.  The emails were sent from Hamilton’s work computer.

photo courtesy of the Virginian-Pilot

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New Ad to Premiere in Virginia

WASHINGTON – A new ad attacking President Barack Obama’s record will launch in Virginia.  Crossroads GPS will spend $9.7 million airing the ad in Virginia this month.  Virginia is considered a “must win” state for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney if he is to defeat Obama.

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Closings / Delays – May 23, 2012

The following schools and businesses will be closed or delayed today due to weather.  This will be updated throughout the morning.

MD
BERLIN HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
BETHEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAESAR RODNEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
1 HR DELAY

DE
CAMPUS COMMUNITY SCHOOL
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAPE HENLOPEN SCHOOL DIST
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAPITAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
1 HR DELAY

DE
CAPITOL BAPTIST
1 HR DELAY

MD
CAROLINE COUNTY SCHOOLS
2 HR DELAY

MD
CHESAPEAKE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
1 HR DELAY

MD
CRISFIELD HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
DELMAR SCHOOL DISTRICT
2 HR DELAY

MD
DORCHESTER CO. SCHOOLS
2 HR DELAY/NO AM KINDERGARTEN

MD
EASTON HEAD START
90 MIN DELAY

MD
EDEN HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
GREENWOOD MENNONITE
90 MIN DELAY

MD
HOLLY GROVE CHRISTIAN
2 HR DELAY

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An Example for Other Local Governments to Follow

CHESAPEAKE, VA – Contrary to what President Obama, Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, and far too many other government officials believe, government does not exist to provide jobs.  Government – federal, state, or local – exists to perform certain functions or provide certain services.  Yesterday’s action by the Chesapeake City Council provided an example that state and local governments should consider:

The City Council has passed an $895.5 million budget that leaves the property tax rate unchanged.

The spending plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year restores 10 police and fire department jobs that were on the chopping block.

Still, 45 full-time jobs will be cut, and nearly every department was trimmed, to deal with a shortfall estimated at $22.4 million when the budget process began months ago. Most of those positions were already vacant.

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Town Elections in Accomack on Tuesday

ACCOMAC, VA – Residents of incorporated towns in Accomack County are reminded that town elections will be held Tuesday, May 1st.  Elections will be held in Accomac, Belle Haven, Bloxom, Chincoteague, Hallwood, Keller, Melfa, Onancock, Onley, Painter, Parksley, Saxis, Tangier, and Wachapreague.  Candidates for office are:

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