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Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe addresses the Virginia Energy and Opportunity Forum in Arlington, Va., Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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Today could have been a very different day for the people of Virginia. After a hard fought race against Über-Republican Ken Cuccinelli, one of the most extreme of the extreme right wingers, Democrat Terry McCauliffe beat back the proudly misogynistic bigot. Indeed, after a recount found Democrat Mark Herring winning the Attorney General seat, you might say that Virginia saved itself from stepping in a big stinkin' pile of Tea Party doo doo. So there was much to celebrate in Virginia as Terry McAuliffe was sworn in as the Commonwealth's 72nd Governor.

McAuliffe wasted no time in issuing his  first executive order as the newly minted Governor and it is one that can make the people of Virginia proud.

My administration is committed to keeping Virginia open and welcoming to all who call our Commonwealth home,” McAuliffe said. “Executive Order Number 1 sets the tone for an administration that will not accept discrimination in any form, and one that will work tirelessly to ensure all Virginians have equal opportunity in the workplace, no matter their backgrounds, race, religion, or whom they love.
Bolding proudly mine.

Below is the full text of the order.


Importance of the Initiative

By virtue of the authority vested in me as governor, I hereby declare that it is the firm and unwavering policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to assure equal opportunity in all facets of state government. The foundational tenet of this Executive Order is premised upon a steadfast commitment to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and mutual respect for all Virginians.

This policy specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. The policy permits appropriate employment preferences for veterans and specifically prohibits discrimination against veterans.

State appointing authorities and other management principals are hereby directed to take affirmative measures, as determined by the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management, to emphasize the recruitment of qualified minorities, women, disabled persons, and older Virginians to serve at all levels of state government. This directive does not permit or require the lowering of bona fide job requirements, performance standards, or qualifications to give preference to any state employee or applicant for state employment.

Allegations of violations of this policy shall be brought to the attention of the Office of Equal Employment Services of the Department of Human Resource Management. No state appointing authority, other management principal, or supervisor shall take retaliatory actions against persons making such allegations.

Any state employee found in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

The Secretary of Administration is directed to review and update annually state procurement, employment, and other relevant policies to ensure compliance with the non-discrimination mandate contained herein, and shall report to the Governor his or her findings together with such recommendations as he or she deems appropriate. The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management shall assist in this review.

This Executive Order supersedes and rescinds Executive Order No. 6 (2010), Equal Opportunity, issued by Governor Robert F. McDonnell on February 5, 2010.

The link to the previous order made by Governor Bob McDonnell in 2010 has already been removed. In a detestably bigoted move, McDonnell signed this order that conspicuously lifted out sexual orientation from previous language issued in an order from 2006 by then Governor Tim Kaine. This allowed the state to openly discriminate against the LGBT community, something the rabid Old Dominion right wing does with pure relish.

Although I have never been a tremendous fan of Terry McAuliffe, what he did today shows promise for the LGBT people who call Virginia their home. A wind of change is blowing through the halls of power in Richmond even as the state waits on the outcome of a very important recent special election. Control of the Senate hangs in the balance. In what is certainly going to wind up in a recount, Democrat Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. currently leads by the narrowest of margins against his Republican opponent Wayne Coleman. If Lewis squeaks this out, the Tea Party will have a very difficult time pushing their petty agenda on the citizens of Virginia. That's a win for the entire country.

Now on to Tops!

January 11, 2014

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU
when you find that proficient comment.

From aoue

In a diary with a questionable title referencing Governor Chris Christie's weight, Le Champignon takes the diarist to task with this analogous comment.
From happymisanthropy:
The Christie plausible deniability meme is best answeredin this comment by Paleo. Found in Greg Dworkin's diary Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Chris Christie is still in big trouble.
From Puddytat:
OMG Lily O Lady just nailed it in Giles Goat Boy's diary Wisconsin Republican Does the Impossible, Drags State Legislature to New Low.
From Steveningen:
In Hunter's diary Rep. Jack Kingston still defending his child labor proposals, NCJan pulls out all the stops and gives this ass an earful. Nicely done.

January 10, 2014

(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Applause to mik!

  1) I don't mind the dominance of Christie stories by rb608 — 182
  2) This is becoming... by RichM — 120
  3) Sok- Kos's evil twin. n/t by Remembering Jello — 116
  4) That's going to leave a mark. by aoeu — 113
  5) ps by kos — 107
  6) In the big world picture by fcvaguy — 105
  7) So now not only is the SS Christieberg bursting by ontheleftcoast — 97
  8) yes, when i see people going by terrypinder — 88
  9) "and I know there are a million Bridgeghazi posts" by indycam — 87
10) Well, if he was a Democrat he'd be up for by ontheleftcoast — 84
11) So don't read by kos — 80
12) The Christie story is a huge deal in the world of by Floyd Blue — 78
13) It's important in a "butterfly effect" sort of way by kovie — 75
14) that's the long-term play by kos — 74
15) Man, ya gotta consider the source... by markthshark — 74
16) How about the Coneheads? by Sixty Something — 72
17) You are 100% correct. by rb608 — 71
18) And talk about immunity! He wanted it from NJ, NY by Wee Mama — 70
19) He can't call them The Plumbers by Puddytat — 65
20) Welcome back, old bud by Dallasdoc — 64
21) No by kos — 64
22) They're not missing the point by kos — 63
23) Not just the diary, but comments by kos — 62
24) I'd only count 3 of Biden's actions as "wrong" by ontheleftcoast — 61
25) Actually, this doesn't really help their case by Witgren — 59
26) Wow, this could add another whole dimension by HoundDog — 59
27) That's just crazy talk by kos — 59
28) I'm not going to read the context by kos — 59
29) Why are there no diaries by gchaucer2 — 58
30) /rant... by RichM — 58

January 10, 2014

Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt™ below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

Originally posted to Top Comments on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 07:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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