Miyares power grab?
Virginia Joins Effort to Attack Local Prosecutors

Our new attorney general is trying to make a name for himself.  Adopting the play of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and attorneys general across the nation,  Jason Miyares cultivates the “stop the steal” crowd with his proposal for an “election integrity commission,” and seeks to build a “tough on crime” image by undermining locally elected commonwealth’s attorneys and their “prosecutorial discretion” to charge and punish wrongdoers in their communities. [Read More…]

Concerned about abortion rights in Virginia?

The culture wars around abortion rights have been rumbling in the Virginia legislature since I first became a Delegate. Below is an excerpt from Bellwether: Virginia’s Political Transformation, 2006-2020 and a link to an article I just posted in Slate:

I distinctly remember my first days as a Delegate, entering the majestic hall of the Virginia House of Delegates for our daily sessions. Consistent with tradition, each meeting began with the raising of our hands and a recitation of the pledge of allegiance. It was a solemn recognition of our support for the constitution and our country.  But one day, I began to notice something strange occurring during this morning ritual. Emanating from the Republican side of the aisle as we finished the Pledge was a soft murmur with words not easily identifiable and difficult to assign to any specific individual. This went on for several weeks, and I incorrectly believed that the phrase being uttered was some kind of playful joke, akin to the “play ball” recitation you would hear at the conclusion of the Pledge at a sports event. But this was no joke.  Instead, they were adding to the last phrase “with liberty and justice for all” the words “the born and unborn.” The culture wars were alive and well in the Virginia House of Delegates, the longest serving democratic body in the Western world….”

Four States Where the Legal Status of Abortion Is on a Knife’s Edge

The Supreme Court’s undoing of Roe was, in some ways, like watching a car crash in slow motion. You could see the disaster coming but either felt powerless to stop it or simply looked away in hopes it would not occur. Read the full article in Slate.

The change of one seat in the state Senate could make Virginia abortion policies look like Texas or Oklahoma. Elections matter!


Two Recent Books on State Politics

Bellwether: Virginia's Political Transformation, 2006-2020
Order from Hamilton Books

“The transformation of Virginia politics over the last two decades is an amazing story. And David Toscano was in the middle of it. While I was Governor, David worked with me to improve Virginia’s economic climate and make the Commonwealth a welcoming place for those pursuing the American dream. Bellwether tells the story of this transformation.”
— Terry McAuliffe, 72nd Governor of Virginia.


Fighting Political Gridlock by David J. Toscano
Order from the University of Virginia Press

“In a timely book, David Toscano has focused us on the path forward in this divided, polarized country—the states, where within a federal framework the laboratories of democracy can experiment with ideas and solutions. He shows us how the states can tackle a wide range of problems with perhaps more success than one-size-fits-all proposals from Washington, D.C.”
Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics, University of Virginia