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Dan McDermott

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

McDonnell vetoes gerrymandered redistricting plan (FULL TEXT)

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By Dan McDermott
The Lynchburg Times

Gov. Bob McDonnell has vetoed General Assembly redistricting plans saying that he has “significant issues” with the senate reapportionment plan.

While the House of Delegates redistricting plan passed with bipartisan support, the senate plan was criticized for efforts to gerrymander democrats into safe districts and put four Republican senators into two districts. In one case, Sen. Steve Newman of Forest and Sen. Ralph Smith of Roanoke were put into a sprawling district that would have been a four hour round trip from Lynchburg to the West Virginia state line with much of the path through Jefferson National Forest.

In vetoing House Bill 5001, McDonnell sent both chambers’ plans back since they were in the same bill. While McDonnell indicated that the house plan would benefit from some tweaking, the Republican Gov. praised its less partisan approach.

Specifically, McDonnell said the proposed senate districts were not compact and did not properly preserve locality lines and communities of interest.

In a statement released shortly after McDonnell’s announcement, Sen. Newman said McDonnel’s veto was “a wise decision given the impact the Senate plan would have imposed on many of the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

“If an individual near the West Virginia border must travel to Central Virginia to see his or her state senator, a part of our democracy is lost. Similarly if a person on Main Street in Lynchburg must seek out their state senator down near the North Carolina border when three other senators are closer, it diminishes trust in the representative system,” he said.

The Senate plan passed on a straight party-line vote.

Redistricting plans are available online here.

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Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Lynchburg Times 4/14/2011

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Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama holding military families hostage, Trump the ‘Apprentice Candidate’ – Gingrich

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

LYNCHBURG – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Barack Obama is holding military families hostage in his budget battle with House Republicans and said that potential Republican rival Donald Trump’s newest show is ‘being Apprentice Candidate.’

Speaking at The Awakening 2011 conference at Liberty University on the eve of a potential government shutdown Apr. 8, the potential Republican presidential hopeful said that the government “doesn’t have to shut down today if the President is willing to work with the House Republicans one, to not have the military as a hostage, which as an army brat I find very offensive. I mean this idea that he won’t pay for the military for a year and take care of military families while they’re risking their lives for America I find, frankly, pretty darned offensive.”

Gingrich faced his own budget showdown with former President Bill Clinton that led to a government shutdown in 1995. He had some advice for the current president and Speaker John Boehner. “Maybe they’d be better off to break the bill into three or four components and try to solve one of them a week and keep the government rolling one week at a time. That might be the most practical way to do it. I don’t think a shutdown is unavoidable but of course they are running out of time,” he said.

Gingrich said he thinks blame for a shutdown will split along ideological lines but that most Americans think the government is spending too much money. “ Virtually every survey says the American people want a smaller deficit and less spending and they want a smaller government in Washington. I know of no survey that doesn’t generally say the country thinks this scale of deficit is impossible to sustain and so I would say the country will ultimately sort it out,” he said.

Gingrich laughed when asked his thoughts on fellow Republican Donald Trump’s statement that he had a ‘team of investigators’ combing through records in search of President Obama’s birth certificate. “I think that the Donald is such an interesting person in every way that being ‘Apprentice Candidate’ is his newest show. He’s a terrific guy. He adds a lot to the race. I can’t imagine what he’ll announce by tomorrow. He’s very inventive and I think frankly for a Republican party that is sometimes a little bit dull having somebody like Trump hang out is going to guarantee that you all have a lot more to cover. I think he is seriously inventive and I think he will have many things, none of which I intend to comment on,” he said.

Complete audio and transcript at

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Lynchburg Times 4/7/2011

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Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Lynchburg Times 3/31/2011

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Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

(AUDIO) McDonnell talks Clay Athey, Steve Newman, redistricting, Jens Soering, Va. Retirement System, autism and VCU

By Dan McDermott
The Lynchburg Times

LYNCHBURG — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell spoke to reporters Wed. March 30 at a ribbon cutting in Lynchburg just one day after Senate Democrats and House Republicans released their respective plans for new legislative lines in the Commonwealth.

The senate plan groups four Republicans into two senate districts. In one case, Sen. Steve Newman’s district runs two hours from Lynchburg through the Jefferson National Forest to the West Virginia state line and includes the home of Sen. Ralph Smith.

McDonnell said he hadn’t looked at the plans closely but said they must be contiguous, compact and meet the legal qualifications of the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Gov. McDonnell addressed his long-time advisor and colleague Del. Clay Athey’s decision not to seek re-election this fall. McDonnell said Athey indicated that he would most likely retire two months ago and his Warren County district has been divided among four neighboring delegates.

McDonnell said the Virginia Retirement system needs to be changed or it will run out of money and that convicted murderer Jens Soering should remain in prison and in Virginia.

McDonnell says he has made several recommendations for changes to a bill for autism insurance and that he is headed for Texas Saturday to watch the VCU game.

Complete transcript and audio are at

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Lynchburg Times 3/24/2011

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Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

(AUDIO) LU Civil War Seminar set for Mar. 25 – 27, 2011

The Bombardment of Fort Sumter, 1861, by George Edward Perine

April 14, 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the start of hostilities in the American Civil War.

A major seminar is about to be held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Central Va. students and teachers can attend the seminar for free. More information is available on the net or by calling 434-592-4366.

Lynchburg Times Publisher Dan McDermott talked to Liberty University Professor Kenny Rowlette about the weekend’s events.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Lynchburg Times: March 17, 2011

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Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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