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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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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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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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2016 Virginia Beach Elections: Arguments in support of and against the light rail advisory referendum

Ed. note — The Independent News asked representatives of both Light Rail Now, Inc., and No Light Rail Virginia Beach to address this important advisory referendum on extending the Tide from Newtown Station to Town Center. This appeared in print… Continue Reading

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How many signatures does anti-light rail extension effort need for referendum?

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – John Atkinson, the city treasurer who launched a grassroots effort to stop light rail from expanding to Town Center, gathered supporters at City Hall this past month to stress a message made clear by the… Continue Reading

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Dyer revokes motion, leaving referendum effort to city treasurer-led group

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE — After a series of discussions about extending light rail and the controversy that surrounds the effort, the City Council on Tuesday, March 15, backed away from supporting either a referendum question suggested by Councilmember Bob Dyer… Continue Reading