Monthly Archives: January 2005

Was Kilgore’s Office Sexist?

Wonder how this might play with women during the gubernatorial campaign?

A former assistant Virginia attorney general has filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Richmond alleging that she was fired illegally because she complained that younger, less-experienced men were paid more than older, more-experienced women.

The defendants, including former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, the office and five other employees, have 21 days from the time they are served with a copy of the suit to file a formal response.

Compromise Medical Malpractice Bill Advances

No caps on jury awards, at least this year. And another article without mention of the insurance industry’s roll in this.

The compromise offers doctors the opportunity to testify to their notes regarding the patient’s history and care, as well an ability to express sympathy for a bad outcome without fear of it being used as an admission of guilt in court.

The bill also requires competency reviews for doctors with claims filed against them three times in 10 years to eliminate the estimated 5 percent of physicians who make up 80 percent of the malpractice claims.


Following up on my brief comment the other day about Tim Graham of the conservative Media Research Center suggesting journalists piled on Armstrong Williams because he was a conservative black, please note where today’s Post story is about another faux journalist, another black conservative. CORRECTION: Gallagher is apparently not black. Gallagher

Recall, Tim Graham thinks the Post is biased.

That’s why this C-3 story ended up on A-1 in the Washington Post

The Post compromised. Today’s story is C-1. Slightly different circumstances. The woman has a cogent argument to make; that is until she writes.

But the real truth is that it never occurred to me.

Then again, anyone working for the Bush administration might say that. None, apparently when it comes to truth, has a clue.

Angelos Deserves to Rot

Two sports stories in a row! What’s come over me? Pete Angelos.

Explaining why his Os didn’t get Carlos Delgaldo in the free agent sweepstakes, Angelos said it was to protect the fans.

“Disappointed? I’m not,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos said. “We made a bid that was appropriate for the circumstances. Others want to pay more, that’s their decision. We are not obliged to serve our fans by squandering millions of dollars they will ultimately pay for through increased ticket prices and concession prices.

“We have a duty to be careful how to spend our money because the fans will ultimately pay for it. You reach a certain level when you feel you made the best offer. I thought we went as far as we could go, within reason. And perhaps further than we should have. The owners that are throwing tens of millions of dollars around are making a disservice to baseball fans.”

As if he’s doing all this to be a servant of the fans. What a crock! I’m reminded of an O’s 7:00 game last summer for which I had tickets. I couldn’t leave Newport News until around 3:00. Most of the drive was in a pouring rain. Consequently, the drive took four hours. I was meeting a friend who took three hours to drive to Camden Yards from Loudoun County. The weather forecast was calling for heavy rain all night. I repeatedly talked to people in the ticket office who said the game was not postponed. Angelos wouldn’t call the game. It was with the Giants and was due to draw a big crowd to see Barry Bonds. No, Angelos waited until about 8:00 to call the game — after he collected non-refundable parking fees and had an hour to sell dinner to the folks that did show up.

And now he let Delgado get away in the name of the fans. I’ll never attend another O’s game, and I hope Angelos rots in the cellar of the Eastern Division for a long time.

I Didn’t Make the VIP List

I usually don’t comment on sports, but this struck me. A friend coordinated a purchase among several guys of season tickets to the Nationals, DC new major league baseball team. I was mildly surprised, since my friend was one of the earliest to sign up for them, that our tickets weren’t a little better. Then this article appears in The Washington Post. Apparently, I’m not alone.

No sooner had the Washington Nationals begun sending out invoices and seat locations to fans who put deposits on 17,830 season tickets, than scores of phone calls started coming in from people dissatisfied with their locations.

“There were phone calls we had to field from people who had requested diamond box or infield boxes, but had to be pushed back farther from the field because we didn’t have enough seats,” said Kevin Uhlich, who works in the office of Nationals President Tony Tavares. “It wasn’t a mix-up or a misfire. It was purely a case of supply and demand.”

But knowledgeable sources said up to 1,000 of the seats closest to the field went to government, corporate and other VIPs throughout the region.

“This is Washington, D.C., and I had to take care of certain people,” said Tavares. “Of course VIPs were taken care of, as they are in any other circumstance. But this is as fair a process as you will find anywhere in baseball.”

I guess what rubs me raw is that the Nationals, first apparently lied about why ticket holders were unhappy and then, once confronted with the fact that 1,000 tickets were withheld, said this was “as fair a process as you will find anywhere in baseball.”

This sense of entitlement and privilege comes, I guess, with the territory, if that territory is DC, or for that matter, anywhere in this land of equality. Equality is really a fraud in so many ways.

Bland Pleads

Del. Felton Bland (D-Petersburg) pled guilty today to a charge of bank fraud.

The felony charge stems from allegations that Bland forged the signature on a gift of land from an apparently unrelated man with the same last name.

Bland, 42, used that property as collateral for loans from BB&T Corp. to buy the A.D. Price Funeral Establishment on East Leigh Street in Richmond.

However, Bland placed the company that owned the funeral home in bankruptcy in December 2003, and BB&T Corp. has scheduled an auction to sell the property on Feb. 3.

Bland faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29.

He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2001.

For all the details, click here.

Two-terms PBI’d

The Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections killed a resolution calling for a two-term governorships, or in the vernacular of the Assembly, it was passed by indefinitely. The vote:

YEAS–Martin, Lambert, Hawkins, Stolle, O’Brien, Reynolds, Devolites Davis, Obenshain, Puckett–9.

NAYS–Bolling, Howell, Deeds, Whipple, Bell–5.


The quote:

“The fact is we’re the people’s representatives, not the governor,” Stolle said.Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach

Huh? Didn’t the governor win an election where all the eligible voters could cast a ballot? But he’s not the people’s representative; these little tribal chieftains are?

Gay Marriage Amendment Passes Senate Committee

The Senate is protecting us from gays. It passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to define marriage as one between a man and a woman only. You know the one: the one that has about a 50% divorce rate. Let’s protect that. Here’s the vote:

YEAS–Martin, Hawkins, Bolling, Stolle, Deeds, O’Brien, Reynolds, Bell, Devolites Davis, Obenshain, Puckett–11

NAYS–Lambert, Howell, Whipple–3


Here’s to Sens. Lambert, Howell and Whipple for having some guts.

More Car Tax Talk

Newspaper coverage of the car tax press conference, while frequently mentioning the tax as a possible gubernatorial election issue, takes a more measured tone, except for the AP story by Bob Lewis.

Resuming the rollback of the hated local levy on personal cars and pickup trucks comes as state revenues pile up far in excess of their forecasts and legislators ponder other tax relief measures.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Vincent F. Callahan Jr. said that once the $950 million annual cap on state car tax reimbursements to localities is lifted, it will take years to finish the car tax cut.

“We have not worked out the details but I think perhaps over the next six years,” Callahan said.

The proposal instantly created a potentially explosive partisan issue in a governor’s race already distinguished for its angry tone with an election more than nine months away.

“Hated” local levy? As opposed to the beloved income tax? Or perhaps the quaint and comforting real estate tax?

“[I]nstantly created a potentially explosive partisan issue? What, like the tax referendum proposed last year. “Implosive” might be the better term.

If there were any doubt that this is election year posturing, Del. Vince Callahan dispelled it.

Callahan acknowledged that finding a new way to wipe out the car tax for good and end the reimbursement mechanism for providing car tax relief would have been preferable to lifting the car tax cap and slowly erasing the remaining 30 percent of the tax car owners still pay.

“That would be the ideal solution to my way of thinking, but we don’t have anything before us now that is politically palatable,” Callahan said. “If someone can come up with an idea, then fine.”

When asked why push to resume the phaseout now, he replied, “Because it’s there.”

…and this is an election year and I fell into that trap didn’t I?

The impact of this pathetic ploy?

Finishing the car tax repeal would wipe out about half the new revenues the state gained last year.

… Warner and Senate leaders have said the surplus is an aberration that will disappear next year when the state will need to find $2.5 billion in new money to keep pace with the rising costs of health care, education and public safety.

… [House Speaker Bill] Howell said the state can afford to do it. He said the general fund budget has grown by $7 billion in recent years, and that ending the car tax would only be a small portion of that.

“It’s not like we’re going to be starving education or other services.”

But Chichester said that other increases in mandated spending, for things like Medicaid and public education, are going to take bigger bites out of future budgets.

“You could easily look at over a couple of billion dollars in demands over which we have no control,” Chichester said. He added that the House’s proposal is not “a characteristic of good long-term fiscal management.”

Memo to Dems: remember that phrase “good long-term fiscal management.” It’ll win some elections.