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Editorial: After secrecy in light rail fight, greater transparency is needed in Virginia’s campaign finance law

POSITION: A bill to end an exemption for some nonprofits seeking to influence referenda could mean our public policy and spending choices will be made by better-informed citizens. It deserves support in Richmond. Every Virginian should know who is paying to influence… Continue Reading

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DeSteph bill would end exemption for nonprofit advocacy that kept voters in the dark during light rail referendum

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH – State Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-8th District, has introduced a bill to change language in Virginia law that can let some nonprofit groups shield the identities of financial backers and the extent of their spending to… Continue Reading

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New Virginia Beach councilperson in Kempsville District lists drainage, transparency among her priorities

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE COURTHOUSE – Biking and hiking trails, improved drainage and driverless busses are priorities for newly-elected City Councilmember Jessica Abbott, who was sworn in this month to represent the Kempsville District.  Abbott said she would like to… Continue Reading

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2016: The year in photos by The Princess Anne Independent News

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO — Here are some of images that, with few exceptions, we ran in print or online during this past year. Click on any image below to begin the slideshow, and then navigate using controls or your arrow… Continue Reading

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Light rail language, questionable math removed from Virginia Beach website

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – This week citizens noticed language posted to the Virginia Beach city website that seemed to soften the impact of the recent advisory referendum in which voters opposed extending the Tide from Newtown Station to Town… Continue Reading

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A tale of two rallies near the end of Virginia Beach’s bitter light rail fight

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — This is a story about two different rallies held in two different places by two different groups of people. The rallies were about light rail, about whether or not it should be extended to Town… Continue Reading

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Column: ‘Sense of the people’? Indeed, the Electoral College still works

BY JIM HOEFT CHESAPEAKE — “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68, the paper known… Continue Reading

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Light rail, dark money: A conflict between election law and guidance is part of bigger transparency issues

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — It may be months before Virginia Beach citizens have any sense how much money light rail advocates spent to influence their votes on Election Day – and the sources of that money may never be… Continue Reading

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Beach voters reject extending light rail from Newtown Station to Town Center

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Virginia Beach voters rejected efforts to extend The Tide from Newtown Station to Town Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The result of the advisory referendum reflects a repudiation of efforts by the city to expand the light… Continue Reading

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Sessoms declares victory in pursuit of third term as Virginia Beach mayor; in Kempsville, Ross-Hammond poised to be lone council incumbent to fall

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE HILLTOP — Will Sessoms, who has served as mayor for eight years, overcame his guilty plea to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge and challenges by three candidates to win reelection to a third term, according to unofficial returns. Sessoms,… Continue Reading