Friday, September 9, 2016

Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on the Dismissal of the Case

"Today is a great day in which my family and I rejoice. More than 3 1/2 years after learning of an investigation, the final day of vindication has arrived. I have deep gratitude to the justices of the United States Supreme Court for their unanimous June reversal of the convictions. Today, I express my appreciation to the US Department of Justice for applying the correct rule of law articulated by the Supreme Court, and asking for these cases to be dismissed. I thank them for doing justice for me, my family, my friends, my Commonwealth and its servants, and for all those involved in the democratic process.

Throughout this ordeal I have strongly proclaimed my innocence. I would never do, nor consider doing, anything that would violate the trust of the citizens of Virginia I served during 22 years in state elected office. These wrongful convictions were based on a false narrative and incorrect law.

Forty-three months ago I was a heartbroken man. I struggled to daily summon the strength to perform my cherished final months of duties as Governor, being accused by my country of committing crimes of which I knew I was innocent. I have learned to be patient, to trust and wait upon the Lord, and to live each day being content with His Daily Bread.

I have become grateful for this experience of suffering, having used it to examine deeply all aspects of my life, and my role in the circumstances that led to this painful time for my beloved family and Commonwealth. I am thankful to God for teaching me new lessons about His grace, mercy, and providence.

I have begun to consider how I might repurpose my life for further service to my fellow man outside of elected office. Polls and politics no longer seem that important. People and policies are.

We have the finest law enforcement officers and best justice system in the world in the United States of America. It usually gets it right in the end.

I cannot thank deeply enough those who steadfastly supported my family and me through this long walk through the dark valley. I was blessed with a faithful and competent legal team, who advocated my cause zealously at every step, committed to prevailing. I was astonished by the remarkable bipartisan amicus brief support we received from a broad cross section of American leaders who saw the injustice. Virginians and people across the country, both friends and strangers, showered me with expressions of love and encouragement. I have learned that the words “amazing grace” and “supernatural peace” are the essence of God’s unfailing love for his people.

I know not fully what the future holds as I enter the “fourth quarter” of life. I do know it will be a wonderful adventure, beginning with 4 blessed new grandchildren, a new small business, countless new friends, and multiple new ministry opportunities.

There will be a day and time to talk further about these matters, but today is one of thanksgiving."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

GOP Members of the House of Delegates File a Contempt Motion against Governor McAuliffe

The following is a post from Speaker Bill Howell's office:

August 2016 – Attorneys for Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), and four Virginia voters will file a contempt motion today against Governor Terence R. McAuliffe (D) with the Supreme Court of Virginia. The petitioners are requesting an order from the Court requiring the Governor and other respondents to show cause for why they should not be held in contempt for violating the Supreme Court’s July 22 decision in Howell v. McAuliffe.

In granting a writ of mandamus against Governor McAuliffe and other respondents, the Court ruled that the governor replaced a general rule with a categorical exception, effectively suspending the constitutional prohibition on felon voting and violating the Constitution of Virginia’s anti-suspension provision. The contempt motion argues that the effect of the August 22 action is practically the same as the first set of executive orders, resulting in another unconstitutional suspension of the laws.

“‘The practical effect’ of Governor McAuliffe’s August 22 decision to issue over 200,000 individual restoration orders is precisely the same: his newly announced process will effectively suspend Virginia’s general constitutional prohibition against felon voting for over 200,000 felons,” reads the motion. “In both scenarios, the Governor has ‘effectively reframe[d] Article II, Section 1 to say’ what he wants it to say rather than what the People of Virginia actually inscribed in their Constitution. This Court did not reduce the suspension clause of the Constitution to a printing requirement. The Court held instead that the suspension clause is an ‘essential pillar of a constitutional republic,’ whose protections do not depend upon how many reams of paper and autopen machines the Governor deploys to work his will.”

The full motion can be found here. The petitioners also filed a motion to expedite the proceedings, which can be found here.

“After a thorough legal review, it is clear that Governor McAuliffe has once again illegally suspended the Constitution of Virginia,” said Speaker Howell. “There is no practical difference between his latest action and his first set of executive orders.

“We have carefully considered the gravity of our request. I deeply respect the Supreme Court and its role as a co-equal branch of government. The seriousness of Governor McAuliffe’s flagrant and repeated violation of the Constitution requires us to take action. The governor will undoubtedly continue to falsely demagogue our motivations, but we cannot stand idly by. We have an obligation to check the excesses of executive power and hold the governor accountable to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

“We have ‘a government of laws and not of men,’” Senator Norment noted. “In our system of government, when one official flagrantly ignores the laws, it is the solemn duty of those of us who have the authority to stand up and take action. Having been told by the highest court in the Commonwealth that his process violated our Constitution, the Governor has responded with dismissive rhetoric and ignored the Court’s ruling. We have no choice but to seek relief and demand he comply with the Rule of Law.

“I believe in redemption. And there is a way, within the bounds of the law, to ensure those deserving of relief have their rights restored. But no matter how noble the goal, allowing the Governor – or any government official – to usurp the Rule of Law is detrimental to our system of self-government. It cannot stand.”

Friday, August 19, 2016

Inova Fumbled Redskins Naming Rights Deal

The following is a post written by Michael W. Thompson, President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy"

"Not too long ago, sports facility naming rights were reserved for corporations with big bank accounts and grandiose advertising campaigns: automobile companies, banks, technology giants and beer companies. Now another category of advertiser, a disturbing one, has entered the picture: nonprofit hospitals.

Nonprofit hospitals in Virginia, including Inova, have been a part of the chorus urging a dramatic expansion of Medicaid and the effort to block competition through reforming the monopolistic regulations known as the Certificate of Public Need. These nonprofit hospitals say that their finances are shaky and government subsidies are needed.

But last month, the Washington Redskins sold the naming rights to their training facility and headquarters in Ashburn to nonprofit mega-hospital chain Inova Health. While the financial details of the Inova deal have yet to be released, a similar partnership between the Redskins and Bon Secours, another nonprofit health system, may provide some idea.

In 2012, Bon Secours Richmond Health System became the sponsor of the Redskins' training camp facility in Richmond. It agreed to pay $3.2 million for the naming rights.

Nonprofit hospitals such as Inova and Bon Secours are expected to provide charity care, not advertising for major NFL teams, in exchange for tax exemptions that include not paying property taxes. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association reported that in fiscal 2013 Virginia's nonprofit hospitals benefited from more than $928 million in tax exemptions. Yet, a Watchdog.org review of 2012-2013 financial reports found that charity care averaged only 4.2 percent of total expenses for Virginia's nonprofit hospitals.

Inova's 2014 financial numbers clearly show that it can do a lot more to help those who can't pay for health care. Inova reported a compensation package for its chief executive that rivals many of the Redskins players' contracts at about $6 million, a $217.7 million operating surplus and nearly $2 billion net assets on hand.

These numbers make it hard to accept the "we're hurting financially" argument and show how much Inova could do to help those who need health care but can't afford it.

If the Inova-Redskins deal is comparable to the one struck by Bon Secours, a lot of needy folks could be helped by this nonprofit hospital. Based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, $3.2 million could, for instance, fund 1,407 cancer-detecting biopsies for those who can't afford them. Money spent on advertising with the Redskins could be better spent increasing the percentage of charity care provided to Virginians in need.

When we are told that our hospitals are in financial trouble and that expanding Medicaid is one way to help this situation or that maintaining noncompetitive practices that tend to force more expensive health-care costs on our patients is needed, let's take a serious look to see if this
is true. Some hospitals might be stressed financially, but not all, and certainly not those such as Inova and Bon Secours that spend millions of dollars helping the bottom line of major professional football teams. These NFL teams can find sponsors in the for-profit sector without too much trouble. Nonprofit hospitals have no reason to invest money into sports training facilities when that money instead could provide care for the needy.

When the General Assembly goes back in session this January, Inova's lobbyists will likely claim that the hospital's ability to meet the growing need for charity care is contingent on the legislature maintaining the current anti-competitive Certificate of Public Need law. But if Inova (and other nonprofit hospitals that spend money on sports advertising) were living up to its nonprofit expectations, it would spend those millions of dollars to help those in need.

Nonprofit hospitals should be held accountable on behalf of the taxpayers and patients who are subsidizing them. Our lawmakers should review the 4.2 percent of expenses dedicated to charitable care by our nonprofit hospitals in Virginia and determine if that number should be higher. They should also support meaningful Certificate of Public Need reforms. As a recent study by George Mason University's Mercatus Center shows, these laws do not keep health-care costs low."

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Cost of 'Free' College

I understand that Hillary is promising "Free" college tuition. It is not "free" at all. She simply plans to shift the burden from the student, who is receiving the college education, to the taxpayer. But it will actually become more expensive. When a student pays the tuition schools have to compete for their dollars and that puts downward pressure on the cost. Once it is "free" there is no pressure to hold down the cost. The taxpayer simply gets the bill and schools can charge more!

"Free" college drives up the cost, which is the goal of liberals like Hillary Clinton. College becomes a jobs program for liberal professors and administrators.