February 2010

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28 Feb 2010

Timeline & follow-up stories on Marshall’s comments

Here is a timeline on the controversy surrounding Delegate Bob Marshall’s comments about abortions and disabled children, with links to follow-up stories.

27 Feb 2010

‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ Teachers Cry

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students descended on the state Capitol, waving handmade signs and singing a song by Twisted Sister. They were protesting what they described as devastating cuts to public education by the General Assembly.

27 Feb 2010

House and Senate Negotiate Over Budget

House and Senate negotiators next week will try to work out the differences in the state budgets passed by their respective chambers to close a $4 billion shortfall.

The House of Delegates and the Senate approved their budget bills on Thursday. The Democrat-led Senate passed its budget on a 30-10 vote, with the support of nine Republicans. The Republican-led House approved its budget on a 61-38 vote, with no Democrats supporting it.

26 Feb 2010

Marshall Demands Apology for ‘Slanderous’ Story

Delegate Bob Marshall has demanded an apology over a Capital News Service story that reported comments he made linking abortion and disabled children. But as Marshall’s quotes gained attention on Web sites, blogs and social networking outlets, public outrage grew over his words. Read the full story here or on VCU’s Commonwealth TimesRVANews or the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily

26 Feb 2010

Delegate Pogge Disavows Marshall’s Remarks

Delegate Brenda Pogge of Yorktown has stepped forward to “disavow” controversial remarks made by Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas suggesting that disabled children are a punishment for having an abortion. Read the story here or in the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily.

26 Feb 2010

Arts Advocates Fight for Funding

The arts are often ignored in politics, but that wasn’t the case when artists from across Virginia converged on the state Capitol. They wore on their shirts a simple tag that said, “Save the Arts.” Hundreds of people turned out to urge legislators to continue funding the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

24 Feb 2010

Marshall Calls CNS Story ‘Slanderous’

In a seven-minute speech from the House floor, Delegate Bob Marshall on Wednesday accused Capital News Service of twisting his words in a story about his remarks last week linking disabled babies to prior abortions.

“If some want to make their own inferences, that is their prerogative. However, they should acknowledge that is what they are doing,” Marshall said. “It is no one’s prerogative to claim I spoke words which never came from my mouth, have never been in my heart and have never been in my public record.”

Delegate Marshall’s floor speech

23 Feb 2010

More audio, video of Marshall’s comments

Bob Marshall: ‘Special punishment’

Here is audio from a press conference last week at which Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, said: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

On Monday, Marshall said he does not believe that disabled children are punishment for having an abortion. “I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.”

Read Kelsey Radcliffe’s story about Marshall’s remarks on the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily. Click on the headline of this news item to hear Marshall’s complete remarks at the press conference.

23 Feb 2010

‘Richmond 34’ Remembered and Honored

Fifty years ago, 34 students from Virginia Union University were arrested for conducting a sit-in to integrate the “whites-only” lunch counter at the Thalhimers department store. Virginia recently honored the “Richmond 34” with a historic marker for challenging racial segregation.

22 Feb 2010

Cuccinelli Doubts Findings on Global Warming

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli has filed a petition against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, challenging its findings on the effects of global warming on humans. He called the EPA’s findings “political science, not real science.” Read Rich Griset’s story on WTOP.com.

22 Feb 2010

Legislators Hope to Boost Tourism

In the old days, it might have been tobacco or coal. Now, legislators are turning to a different industry – tourism – to energize the state’s economy. Several organizations have developed plans to boost tourism and draw more visitors to Virginia’s state parks, museums, battlefields, wineries and other attractions. Read Brittany Daniels’ story in The Virginia Gazette.

22 Feb 2010

Legislator Regrets ‘Poorly Chosen Words’

State Delegate Bob Marshall said Monday he does not believe that disabled children are punishment for having an abortion. Marshall, a Republican from Manassas, was responding to a Capital News Service story quoting remarks he made last week at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

22 Feb 2010

Schools Might Start Before Labor Day

Momentum is building in the General Assembly to let school districts start classes before Labor Day. Educators say this would help Virginia students would do better on national tests. But Gov. Bob McDonnell and the tourism industry say starting school before Labor Day would hurt Virginia tourism. Read Alli Atayee’s story on the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily.

21 Feb 2010

CNS Stories for Week 6 (Feb. 15-21)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “Legislator: Disabled Kids Are God’s Punishment” … “Schools Might Start Before Labor Day” … “Assembly Opposes Health Insurance Mandate” … “Cuccinelli Challenges Finding on Global Warming.”

19 Feb 2010

Legislator: Disabled Kids Are God’s Punishment

State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy. He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood. This story has been published by the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily and other news outlets.

18 Feb 2010

Bill Aims to Protect Sex Offenders’ Employers

A bill making headway in the General Assembly seeks to protect employers of sex offenders by not listing the name of the offender’s workplace on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry. Read Veronica Garabelli’s story on WPCVA.COM, the Web site for Womack Publishing Co., which publishes the Altavista Journal, the Star-Tribune, the Times-Virginian and The Union Star.

17 Feb 2010

100 Rally for Health Care at Capitol

About 100 people gathered around the Bell Tower at Capitol Square today to urge legislators to move forward with health-care reform.

“We’re here to send a message as clearly as possible that people are suffering, people are dying, for lack of coverage,” said John Lindsay of the Virginia Organizing Project, which organized the rally. “The consequences are serious and grievous to real people who are suffering every day.”

17 Feb 2010

Lawmakers Consider Shortening School Year

After four major snowstorms and many school cancellations, Virginia legislators are discussing a statewide proposal to shorten the school year – so students don’t have to make up so many missed classes.

17 Feb 2010

Women’s Roundtable Going on 30 Years

The Women’s Legislative Roundtable has been meeting every Wednesday since 1981 to discuss legislation and issues affecting women in Virginia. But the meetings aren’t just for women – men can attend, too.

17 Feb 2010

Text4baby Provides Instant Info4mommy

A free text-messaging service called text4baby provides health information to pregnant women and new mothers during pregnancy and through a baby’s first year. You can sign up by texting BABY to 511411, or BEBE for Spanish.

17 Feb 2010

‘Distracted Delegates’ Video Wins Awards

Tracy Kennedy’s video of ‘Distracted Delegates’ won first place in the Multimedia Competition of the Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. Tracy beat out 78 entrants from 47 colleges and universities across the nation.

16 Feb 2010

Bill to Restrict Coal Mining Is Dead

A bill that supporters said would save the environment but opponents said would cost coal industry jobs is dead for this legislative session. The bill would have stopped coal mining operations that dispose of slurry or other waste materials in any stream.

14 Feb 2010

CNS Stories for Week 5 (Feb. 8-14)

Here are the

stories we distributed

 over the past week. Headlines include: “Halifax Teen Helps Legislators at Capitol” … “House Votes to Repeal ‘Triggerman Rule'” … “Lawmakers Consider Shortening School Year” … “Senate OK’s Unemployment Benefits Bill.”

08 Feb 2010

Indian Tribe Gets Hand From ‘Mr. Las Vegas’

The Patawomeck Indians, who are seeking state recognition, got a boost from their most famous member: entertainer Wayne Newton. The Las Vegas icon attended a legislative hearing and testified in support of a resolution to recognize the tribe.

07 Feb 2010

CNS Stories for Week 4 (Feb. 1-7)

Here are the

stories we distributed

 over the past week. Headlines include: “Delegate Hopes to Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Ban” … “Funding Sought to Fight Online Sexual Predators” … “Waiting for Smoke to Clear on Enforcing the Ban” … “Mentally Ill Would Get ‘New Lease on Life.'”

06 Feb 2010

Funding Sought to Fight Online Predators

Alicia Kozakiewicz, whose kidnapping and torture prompted Virginia to adopt a law targeting online sexual predators, joined four state legislators in urging the General Assembly to adequately fund programs that protect children against Internet crimes. Read Nicole Fisher’s story here or on WPCVA.com and the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily.

03 Feb 2010

Legislators Get the Point – an H1N1 Shot

With the swine flu pandemic looming, the Virginia Department of Health is giving state legislators vaccinations to prevent the spread of the virus. Health officials are visiting the Capitol this week to administer free H1N1 vaccinations. Read Nicole Fisher and Samantha Downing’s story on Local Kicks.

01 Feb 2010

CNS Stories for Week 3 (Jan. 25-31)

Here are the

stories we distributed

 over the past week. Headlines include: “House OK’s Abortion Clinic Regulation” … “Senate Makes Absentee Voting Easier” … “House Panel Rejects Marijuana Bills” … ” Police Protest Proposed Budget Cuts” … “Seat-Belt Bill ‘Clicks’ With Senate.”