Government & Politics

An in-depth look at the issues and policies of our government from the local, state and national levels.

Creative Commons/neetalparekh

Now that the presidential election cycle is heating up, so is the job market for people who work in political organizations. 

It’s an industry that reached its all-time high in October 2008, when political organizations had a combined total of twenty thousand employees. That includes advocacy groups, political parties and candidate campaigns. Florida has the most employees in this industry, followed by D.C. and Ohio. Virginia is way down at number ten. 

“I think we have this impression that Virginia has a bigger political consulting establishment than it does."

Tom Woodward/Creative Commons

When members of the General Assembly convened in January, they were considering more than a dozen bills aimed at cracking down on the car-title lending industry. All of those efforts were scrapped, though, when lawmakers decided against passing legislation and instead asked the state regulator to take action. Now new campaign finance numbers that show what was happening behind the scenes.

Local Governments: Budget Basics

May 16, 2016

Across Virginia, local governments are balancing their books any way they can. Some are raising taxes on hotel guests. Others are increasing the cost of street parking. 

Let’s start with the good news. The state of Virginia’s economy is strong. Here’s how Steven Fuller at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis describes it:

“Virginia has, over the last two years, gone from zero growth — no job growth at all to early 2014 — to the strongest job growth in any twelve month period in more than ten years."

VP Speculation Turns Toward Virginia Politician

May 11, 2016
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The contests for Republican and Democratic presidential nominees are all but settled, meaning the latest question is "Who will be the picks for Vice President?"

Photo: Taber Andrew Bain, Creative Commons

Virginia's car-title lending industry has exploded in the six years since the General Assembly crafted regulations legalizing loans that have more than 200 percent interest rates. But Virginia is not alone. States across the country are struggling to deal with payday loans and Internet loans and open-ended credit loans - a set of financial products critics call "predatory lending."