Archive for March, 2012

Tim Kaine: stop subsidizing Big Oil

Democratic candidate for Senate Tim Kaine released a statement supporting repeal of federal tax subsidies for Big Oil:

I strongly urge the Senate to approve legislation repealing subsidies to the Big 5 oil companies. Giving tens of billions in taxpayer dollars to companies that are reaping record profits is simply a waste of taxpayer money at a time when we should be looking for ways to reduce our spending, and a backward approach to our energy future.

Unfortunately, by supporting these unnecessary subsidies, my opponent George Allen and other Republicans appear to be answering to the best interests of their campaign war chests instead of the best interests of the American people. By protecting these giveaways, Allen and his allies are double-charging Virginia consumers and businesses, asking them to pay at the pump and in their tax bill to Big Oil companies who don’t need the additional help to turn a profit.

While there is no immediate solution to high gas prices, there is immediate action we can take to ensure we continue on a path toward energy independence, and this bill is the right next step. Repealing these subsidies will help America invest in the $2.3 trillion clean energy economy that will create jobs right here in Virginia, bring us closer to energy independence, and reduce our reliance on high oil prices.

How the Affordable Care Act is helping Virginians

The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010, is starting to make a difference for the better in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Virginians.

According to the website healthcare.gov:

–Because health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family’s coverage, as of June 2011, 62,846 young adults in Virginia gained insurance coverage.

–84,977 people with Medicare in Virginia received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. In 2011, 81,535 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount resulted in an average savings of $600 per person, and a total savings of $48,949,685 in Virginia. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.

–In 2011, 837,645 people with Medicare in Virginia received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,519,000 in Virginia.

And there are more improvements to come as the law takes full effect.

All the Republican candidates for president in 2012 have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Most Virginians oppose ultrasound law

Politico.com reports:

A majority of Virginians stand against the state’s new law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure, a new survey shows.

Fifty-two percent of voters said they opposed the law, compared with 41 percent who support it, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Further, an overwhelming 72 percent of Virginians said that the government should not make laws aimed at changing the minds of women who are seeking abortions.

Men disapprove more strongly of the non-invasive ultrasound law than women: 56 percent of men are against it and 38 percent back it, while women disapprove 49 percent to 44 percent.

Virginia lawmakers had considered a more drastic bill, requiring invasive ultrasounds, but tabled the legislation after a public outcry.

The controversy over the new ultrasound law, which passed in late February, may have had a negative effect on voter opinions regarding Gov. Bob McDonnell and the state legislature.

Voters approve, 53 percent to 32 percent, of the job McDonnell is doing as governor, which is slightly worse than his approval in early February, when 58 percent of voters approved and only 24 percent disapproved.

For the first time this session, the Virginia State Legislature received a net negative approval rating from voters: 38 percent approve of its job performance, while 47 percent disapprove. This represents a 19 percentage point net negative shift from the 47 percent to 37 percent approval it received as recently as Feb. 9.

Ann Holton and Tim Kaine visit Lexington

Lexington Democrats are going all-out this year to help elect former Gov. Tim Kaine to the US Senate and keep both of the state’s Senate seats in the Democratic column.

On February 23, we welcomed Tim Kaine’s wife Ann Holton at the Nelson Gallery.

And on February 27, we hosted Tim Kaine at a fundraiser at the home of Mimi Elrod which raised about $13,000 for his election campaign.

Truck needed for parades

The Lexington and Rockbridge County Democratic Committees are looking for a truck to make our presence known in upcoming parades. A large truck with automatic transmission is preferred.

If you can help, please contact Dorothy Blackwell at dssb1@earthlink.net or phone 540-463-9213.

Poll: Tim Kaine leads George Allen

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a recent poll showed Democrat Tim Kaine leading Republican George Allen in the race for the US Senate seat being vacated by Jim Webb.

With only a 2 percent margin of error, Kaine’s 48 percent to 39 percent lead over Allen is the most substantial edge in the contest so far. Nearly every poll for a year has shown the two running neck-and-neck.

The poll also shows President Obama with a 51 percent approval rating in Virginia and double digit leads in hypothetical match-ups with all of his potential opponents in the fall.

In the closest race, Obama leads Romney 52 percent to 35 percent. With Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket as vice president, Obama’s 17-point lead shrinks by two percentage points.