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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

And the 2013 Virginia Candidates Are……..




On August 6, 2013 there is a Special Election in Virginia for the State Senate seat in the 14th District.

Current Delegate Cosgrove is one of two candidates running for this seat. But he is also listed as the Republican candidate for his House seat on the November 5th election. It looks like if he is the winner in the Senate there is a back-up Republican nominee for his House seat in the 78th District according to the Virginia Public Access Project website, but there is no mention of this candidate on the Virginia Board of Elections website. I'll keep an eye on this District.
 
On November 5, 2013 Virginians will be voting for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, here are the candidates.  There is one current State Senator running for Lieutenant Governor and two Senators running for Attorney General, if any of them win an Administration position on November 5th then there will need to be a another special election for their State Senate seats. The Lieutenant Governor is the presiding officer of the Senate during the yearly General Assembly session, pursuant to the Constitution of Virginia. 

Also on November 5, 2013 most Virginians will be voting for their representative in the Virginia House. All 100 seats in the House are up for re-election although 38 of those districts only have the incumbent running unopposed so there is no real race, the results are already known. That leaves 62 races that are up for grabs and 11 of those House seats have no incumbent running so the winner will be someone with new ideas and opinions, instead of the same-old-same-old. To find out who is running for Delegate of the House seat in your district, here are the candidates. 

Are you registered to vote?  

Do you know the deadline to register for the November election?  

  • October 15, 2013  is the Last Day to Register to Vote in General Election
  • October 29, 2013  is the Last Day to Apply for Absentee Ballot by Mail
  • November 2, 2013 is the Last Day to Apply for Absentee Ballot in Person 
If you are interested in any of the candidates reported finances and donations just visit the Virginia Public Access Project website. 

Finally, were you convicted of a felony in Virginia and lost your voting rights? If the answer is yes, you can apply to have your rights restored but not in time for this year’s election. 

S954-Federal Farm Bill in U.S. Senate to Deny Food Stamps to “Rapists” and “Pedophiles”


 

This is Federal Legislation not State Legislation and some readers get confused about this so I’m going to side step for a minute. 

  • State laws are proposed every January through February (odd years) or March (even years) in Richmond Virginia by State Delegates and Senators. If the bill passes through both chambers it is then sent to the Governor to be signed into law, amended or vetoed and if is signed into law it becomes law only in Virginia on July 1st.
  • Federal laws are proposed year round in Washington D.C. by Virginia Representatives elected to the U.S. Congress (House) and the U.S. Senate.  If the bill passes through both chambers it is then sent to the President of  the United States to be signed into law, amended or vetoed and they apply to all 50 states.

 OK, back to this pending bill. 

Before this blog was started on June 30, 2013 the U.S. Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill S954 was being amended, debated, criticized and voted on for 6 weeks. Separately there was a U.S. House version  moving along independently and in my opinion it was a little bit better than the Senate version but still bad but it was “killed” so I’m not going to cover it here unless it is brought back to life down the road. 

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow-(MI) the Chairwomen of the Senate Agriculture Committee is the patron for S954-The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. It was introduced on May 14, 2013 and in less than 9 days had more than 150 amendments; one particular amendment is the focus of today’s post. 

If you are as appalled as I am after reading this full post I ask that you contact your one U.S. Congress Representative who could require the Vitter amendment be removed before it is voted on. I also ask that you contact both U.S. Senators from Virginia who participated in the June 10th  66-47 passage of S954 including the Vitter amendment. Tim Kaine (D-VA), voted Yea and Mark Warner (D-VA), Not Voting.  

The Vitter Amendment 

On May 21, 2013 U.S. Senator David Vitter (LA) offered up this amendment to the Farm Bill with no argument or concern from any Senate member. To “end food stamp eligibility for convicted violent rapists, pedophiles, and murderers”. Vitter’s amendment would also prohibit States the ability to opt out of this mandate as they can now do with drug convictions. 

What is the definition of “violent rapist” or “pedophile”? Who specifically would be swept up by theses vague terms?  

There is no specific federal definition of either term.  

Each State charges and sentences rape, sodomy, object sexual penetration, crimes against nature, indecent liberties, carnal knowledge and possession, distribution or production of child pornography (including sexting) all differently. Almost all of these crimes in many cases could be statutory offenses but in many States like Virginia they don’t specify or charge it as a “statutory” offense.   

Thirty-one States and the District of Columbia’s age of consent is 16 years old, in seven States it is 17 years old and then the remaining twelve States the age of consent is 18. The person below the age of consent who participates in any consensual act is a victim according to law because they aren’t old enough to consent and the older person is a perpetrator and labeled a rapist, pervert, predator or pedophile for life. In most States like Virginia there is an age gap allowance if both parties are below the age of consent. If the age difference between the participants is one month greater than the allowed gap then a crime has occurred and the same fate follows. 

Some of the offenses listed above could be misdemeanors in some States and in others they are felonies.