By Kerry Dougherty, this was originally published in Bacon’s Rebellion and is republished here by permission.
What in the world are Virginia Senate Democrats thinking?
On Thursday, in a childish game of tit-for-tat, these partisan hacks blocked three of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s nominees for the state parole board.
There was nothing objectionable about the trio. This was political gamesmanship and a fresh reminder that Democrats have little interest in law and order.
Trouble is, by foolishly drawing attention to the parole board, these dimwits reminded the commonwealth that when they were in charge of making appointments they filled the board with bleeding hearts who set killers loose.
The last rogue board, filled with McAuliffe and Northam appointees, released at least eight murderers including cop killer Vincent Martin, who executed Richmond patrolmen Michael Connors during a routine traffic stop in 1979, and Patrick Schooley Jr., who abducted, raped and stabbed to death 78-year-old Bessie Rountree of Suffolk after knocking on her door and asking to use her phone.
Worse, the all-Democrat parole board was accused of violating numerous rules regarding notice to prosecutors and families of victims in its breathless hurry to set violent felons free.
Confident that they would hold the reins of power indefinitely in Richmond, the Democrats actually promoted the chair of the board to a judgeship in Virginia Beach.
This appalling disregard for the safety of community and lack of respect for sentences handed down by juries and judges shocked the consciences of many Virginians and became a campaign issue for Youngkin.
On the campaign trail, Youngkin promised to fire the existing board — the members who hadn’t been rewarded with judgeships, that is — and replace them with competent Virginians.
Now three of those nominees have been scratched. As soon as the General Assembly adjourns Youngkin can appoint three others to the board. Fortunately, there is no shortage of law-abiding Virginians eager to serve.
With a GOP majority in the House of Delegates, and a slim Democrat majority in the Senate, the latter bragged about how they would kill all of Youngkin’s initiatives.
They failed on several issues when Democrats joined Republicans. But the Senate did veto Youngkin’s nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources. A highly unusual and partisan move.
With that, House Republicans retaliated by rejecting 11 of Northam’s leftover appointments to various boards.
On Thursday, The Virginia Mercury reported that Senate Democrats struck back.
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, said Senate Democrats “weren’t going to be walked all over.”
“I think that the House needs to be taught a lesson,” Ebbin said.
Senate Republicans cried foul, accusing Democrats of dragging more appointees into a fight that could disrupt the Parole Board’s ability to operate.
“How childish is a phrase like that?,” Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, said in response to Ebbin’s comment.
Childish as heck. And stupid.
Because of it, we’re now reminded that when Democrats controlled the Governor’s Mansion they made a mockery of Virginia’s “Truth in Sentencing” law that effectively ended parole for Virginia’s felons.
Democrats ignored the lamentations of crime victims as they wantonly set violent criminals loose.
Two years ago the parole board made Virginia a more dangerous place. Democrats in the Senate this week reminded us of the bad old days.