Government & Politics

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

New Conflicts of Interest & Ethics Advisory Council

Sep 29, 2015

A new, permanent panel formed to advise state and local officials about their conflict-of-interest questions and whether gifts of travel, lodging, or meals are permissible has held its inaugural meeting. 

The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council is composed of state lawmakers, former judges, and citizens appointed by the House, Senate, and Governor McAuliffe.  But developing the practical rules for carrying out the updated state ethics laws is still a work in progress.

A Northern Virginia lingerie shop has upset some residents who don't believe its window displays make a proper impression....and bicycle riders will no longer get a free pass when they run stop signs in one Virginia city. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link at

  The late Senator Ted Kennedy was a Washington, D.C. legend, serving 47 years in Congress.  This week, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center will release part of the oral history it compiled on Kennedy, working from 300 interviews it did with him and those who knew him.  

As part of the oral history, Ted Kennedy did 29 interviews that produced about a thousand pages of transcript.  Then, the Miller Center spoke with those who knew him.  

Va News: Confederate Flags, Voting Teens

Sep 21, 2015

Christiansburg High School has handed out suspensions to students who challenged a policy prohibiting the confederate flag on school grounds...and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor turned Congressman Don Beyer wants 16-year-olds to have the right to pre-register to vote.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link at

Have you ever questioned what qualifies a person to be selected as a judge who’s responsible for many life-altering decisions? 

Ever wondered how detailed and transparent the vetting process is—and whether the jurist is invested in the overall well-being of the community which he or she serves? 

A new proposal by a gubernatorial commission would guide how state lawmakers go about making their selections, while getting input from their local communities.