Virginia Politics
Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 02/09/2012

Va. Democrats, Republicans call each other obsessed with social issues

So just what has Virginia’s General Assembly been up to this year? A “values crusade”? Or plain old bread-and-butter legislation with just a smidgen of social stuff thrown in?

Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) says Democrats, not Republicans, are obsessed with social issues.
More than a dozen House and Senate Democrats gathered Thursday to denounce the “social-issue legislative overreach” they said Republicans were perpetrating in Richmond. More than a dozen of them gathered to speak about GOP-backed legislation to tighten voting restrictions, loosen gun laws, require welfare recipients to undergo drug testing and allow state-funded adoption agencies to turn away gay parents.

Democrats accused Republicans of ignoring the issues Virginians care most about — the economy, transportation and schools chief among them — in order to pursue what Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) called a “values crusade.”

Republicans shot back by issuing a “progress report of the positive reform agenda being advanced” by Republicans in the General Assembly. They asserted that it’s the Democrats, not the Republicans, who are obsessed with social issues.

“While our Democrat colleagues remain singularly focused on a small number of social issues, we are enacting the reforms necessary to move Virginia forward,” said Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax).

Hugo and Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) noted the passage of bills that provide “incentives for expanding existing businesses, economic development grants for agricultural and forestry businesses, charter school enhancements, and the most sweeping government reorganization plan in recent history. ... In the first four weeks of session, the Senate has passed over 300 bills while the House has passed over 380. Only a handful of the bills approved were included on the list of bills legislative Democrats characterized as ‘divisive’ at their media event.

“The disparity between their talking points and the facts suggests they are at best wildly unaware of the legislation before them this session and at worst intentionally misleading Virginia's citizens.”

So who’s obsessed, the Dems or the Republicans? Give us your take in the comments section.

By  |  12:44 PM ET, 02/09/2012

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