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The Right Note: Delegates on the Move, App Staying Put?

by Mark Kelly July 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

GOP county board candidate Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Delegates Hope and Sullivan announced they would work across the Commonwealth to cut into the massive GOP majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Delegate Hope previewed his stump speech saying “Republicans are killing their constituents.” Hope’s over-the-top reference was reportedly to GOP opposition to expanding the Affordable Care Act and supporting coal.

Setting aside the Supreme Court’s failure to uphold the plain meaning of words as well as the fact there is nothing affordable about the law, it seems that the recent health care ruling breathed new life into this issue for Virginia Democrats. The wisdom of campaigning for this Washington program anywhere outside of the beltway remains to be seen.

Coal not only helps fuel the economy of southwestern Virginia, but shutting down all coal-fired power in the United States any time in the near future would cause utility rates to skyrocket. Higher electric bills impact those at the bottom of the economic ladder with the least amount of disposable income the most. In addition to home heating and cooling bills, it would drive up the price of every other good and service they need. Seems like a losing argument most places across the Commonwealth.

On balance, if Hope and Sullivan are going to bring their brand of being a Democrat to the campaign trail outside of Northern Virginia, GOP Speaker Howell might pay their way to stump for Democratic challengers. Their far left positions may play well in Arlington, but not in most, if not all, GOP-held seats.

Sullivan did argue the GOP would not change unless they lost elections over a specific issue. This is an argument I made about the Democrat-controlled County Board on the Columbia Pike trolley, and it proved to be true.

Mobile App “Saved”

Yesterday’s “breaking news” was that Arlington Public Schools mobile app has probably been saved from budget “cuts.” It seems as if Blackboard is willing to provide it for free.

You have to wonder whether or not the APS staff explored this possibility with Blackboard before announcing it would cut the $12,000 expenditure or whether Blackboard made the offer after APS notified them?

Whether it is a $12,000 mobile app or $1.2 million for Macbooks, the staff at APS owes it to Arlington taxpayers, students, parents and teachers to always look for innovative ways to save money, even though they have plenty of it.

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