Time for a clean-up in Richmond

I was co-editor of my high school yearbook my senior year. It was hardly a full-time job and nothing got in — words or pictures — that the school administration did not review and approve. I suspect most schools are like that. Of more interest, perhaps, were the comments made by classmates as they signed each other’s volume. That is the last time I ever heard of or bought a yearbook. Today, I cannot even find mine.

It would appear Virginia’s institutions of higher learning — in this instance, VMI, UVA and EVMS — were a lot less scrupulous in maintaining visibility of student life and student publications “back then.” Long overdue reviews are suddenly underway within the commonwealth.

The General Assembly session this year is a short one, scheduled to end Feb. 23. Both Speaker Cox and Senate Majority Leader Norment have publicly stated their sole focus is on completing action on hundreds of pieces of legislation. Sen. Norment’s newsletter emphasizes the point in more detail. They should do that forthwith.

Gov. Northam should sign or veto such bills as he deems appropriate, ensure Virginia has a budget and that needful functions have been funded. While he is waiting for the General Assembly to finish, he should demand and accept the resignation of his equally sullied and disloyal attorney general and appoint the deputy attorney general to acting attorney general. True, the attorney general is an elected official, but he should have enough sense of duty to offer his resignation anyway. True, he did not cast the first stone, but he was not without sin.

The matter with Lt.Gov. Fairfax is not at all clear. Until it is, he should be considered the lieutenant governor.

There are neither the grounds nor the time for the General Assembly to intervene. In all instances, the events occurred long before the individuals were elected officials. With the Senate Majority Leader now tarred with the same brush as the governor and the attorney general, it is also not an appropriate forum.

Bills signed or vetoed, it is then time for the governor to resign and for the lieutenant governor, if in office, or the acting attorney general, to assume that role. The Senate Majority Leader should also resign. We should not endure the spectacle of the office being filled by the legislature, which would create its own series of political problems.

General Assembly elections will be held in November of this year. Media and political organizations will be vetting 100 House and 40 Senate seats. During the course of the spring and summer, there will no doubt be other revelations. The voting public must not be complacent in this off-year election. Read and watch the news; biased or otherwise. It is the most immediate and reliable source of knowledge of what is going on.

Bruce Schoch

James City County

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