Gov. Youngkin delivers the State of the Commonwealth
WTVR CBS 6 , January 11, 2023 – 6:00 pm (ET)
Don Beyer Aircast Interview Highlights
August 31, 2022 – 6:00 pm (ET)

Moderator: Connor Oatman, US onAir –
Aircaster: Ben Murphy, US onAir –

Featured Guest: Congressman Don Beyer, US House VA-08
Student Guests: Valentina Autorina, Frida Cervantes, Devin Pieczynski, Gabriel Yu fromt George Mason University.  Students will be asking Congressman Don Beyer about his positions on a number of issues including abortion, guns, and funding college education.

0:36 / 30:15 Interview aircast with Karina Lipsman

Host: Ben Murphy, Students onAir @GMU
Aircaster: Gabriel Yu, US onAir

Student Panelists: Devin Pieczynski, Students onAir @GMU Frida Cervantes, Students onAir @GMU Ani Prakash, Students onAir @GMU Joe Kubicki, Students onAir @GMU


  • Gabe Yu

3:23 / 24:25 Interview Aircast with Jim Myles
Gabriel Yu, Aircaster,

Host: Frida Cervantes, Students onAir @GMU Aircaster: Gabriel Yu, US onAir Student Panelists: Devin Pieczynski, Students onAir @GMU Ben Murphy, Students onAir @GMU Anna Jonckheer, Students onAir @UWM

Karina Lipsman Learn About
Producer: Joe Kubicki Narrator: Frida Cervantes, September 23, 2022 – 3:00 pm (ET) (30:13)

Students onAir presents Karina Lipsman’s biography and policies. She is the Republican Candidate for Virginia’s 8th US House District drawn from her campaign website. Go to and select the Karina Lipsman post to learn more about her biography, policy positions, and much more.

2023 VA Democracy Day
Upvote, Represent Us, Freedom VA, et alJanuary 24, 2023

Support Democracy.

Join us on January 24th, 2023 in Richmond, Virginia to support good governance efforts.

This day will include a rally at the Capitol Bell Tower at 8am, a press conference at 8:30am, the opportunity to speak to your representatives, training on issues and how to advocate for them, and free breakfast and lunch!

In 2022, Virginia ranked 43rd in a state-by-state campaign finance reform index. That’s not good. Until we change the way our government works, it’s almost impossible for us to seriously address the other issues facing our society. Join us on January 24th to show legislators we care about these important issues!

What are we rallying for?

With each election, more and more money pours into elections, nationally and in Virginia. Whereas spending in Virginia’s 1999 legislative races totaled $32 million, spending in the 2019 legislatives races skyrocketed to over $121 million. This money isn’t coming from your average Virginian. In fact, contributions over $25,000 made up a staggering 67% of the total of all contributions in 2019. Unchecked political spending by corporations, unions, special interest groups, and wealthy individuals has overwhelmed the voices of everyday citizens.

Virginians overwhelmingly support good governance reform. In facct, 78% of Virginians are in favor of reducing money from big campaign donors, according to a poll conducted by the non-partisan Wason Center in late 2021. Majorities of Virginians also support creating contribution limits, strengthening disclosure, and restricting the personal use of campaign funds. We’re showing up on January 24, 2023 to make sure it happens!

Ban the Personal Use of Campaign Funds.

Candidates for office in Virginia face no legal restrictions on how they spend campaign funds, unlike 47 other states and the federal government. Prohibiting the personal use of campaign funds would help ensure candidates run for office in order to represent the interests of constituents rather than to personally enrich themselves. 73% of Virginians support restricting the personal use of campaign funds and legislation to restrict these uses have been introduced almost every year for several decades. It’s time for action!

Enhanced Disclosure.

There’s nothing in Virginia preventing candidates and obscure donors from being vague when filing reports on contributions and expenditures, and there’s no review conducted by the Board of Elections or any other regulatory agency to ensure candidates are being accurate and comprehensive. Nor are campaign finance records accessible to the public through a searchable/sortable public interface. 88% of Virginians support the public disclosure of contributions, and 86% of Virginians support requiring reporting for online donations. Virginians deserve better access.

Increased Oversight.

Existing campaign finance law in Virginia does little to hold candidates accountable. The Department of Elections, whose mandate includes the administration of campaign finance laws, lacks adequate funding or the regulatory authority to monitor and regulate the millions of dollars influencing our elections. It’s time we empower them.

Campaign Contribution Limits.

Unlike 45 other states, Virginia places no limits whatsoever on the amount that any entity — whether an individual, corporation, union, public utility, or PAC — may contribute to a candidate during an election cycle. As you can imagine, that means that Virginia politicians receive an enormous amount of their campaign dollars from wealthy donors, corporations, and even publicly-regulated utilities. 75% of Virginians favor establishing contribution limits, which will help give Virginians a voice in their own government.

Publicly-Financed Elections.

Public financing offers the opportunity for more candidates of modest means to run for office, and generally leads to a more diverse set of elected officials that mirrors the demographics of the population at-large.

Ranked Choice Voting.

Ranked Choice Voting eliminates the “spoiler effect.” In three-or-more way races, voters often face a choice: vote for who they want and risk electing the candidate they like the least, or vote for the candidate they think is more likely to win. This is the “spoiler effect” and it artificially suppresses the support of third party candidates. Ranked choice voting solves for that concern by allowing voters to vote their conscience. If their candidate fails to make it past the first round, their second place vote is counted instead.

A Constitutional Amendment.

21 states have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment which would allow Congress and the states to regulate election spending. Such an amendment would overturn decades of Supreme Court rulings which have equated election spending with speech. Our legislators should publicly call for action by Congress so that Virginia can regulate election spending, allowing the voices of citizens to be heard over large outside donors.

The Protection of Voting Rights.

Virginia has made headlines in recent years for expanding protections for voters. The New York Times has called Virginia “a voting rights bastion.” With the passage of the Virginia Voting Rights Act in 2021, the creation of a 45-day early voting period, same-day voter registration, and the creation of a State Election Day, Virginia now has some of the best voting procedures in the country. We want to be sure these measures stay in place, so that all Virginians can be easily represented.

Independent Redistricting.

Following action by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020, Virginia residents voted to amend the state’s Constitution to authorize the establishment of the Virginia Redistricting Commission.The Commission was established for the sole purpose of developing maps for Virginia’s state legislative districts and districts for the U.S. House of Representatives. Before the Commission, redistricting was accomplished through the normal state legislative process — bills outlining the districts were introduced, considered and passed by a majority of both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, and were signed by the Governor, with the legislature drawing the maps. Although the Commission was a substantial step in the right direction, it failed (for largely political reasons) and redistricting was instead passed to the Supreme Court of Virginia in November 2021. We believe that an independent redistricting commission, with citizen members, would fare more successfully in the next redistricting effort.

Links to the Democracy Day sponsors’ websites below:

Jennifer McClellan will become the first Black woman to represent Virginia in Congress.

McClellan beats Benjamin in special election
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawFebruary 21, 2023

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, defeated Republican pastor Leon Benjamin in Tuesday’s special election for a Richmond-centered seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a victory that will make her Virginia’s first Black congresswoman.

McClellan, a corporate attorney who has championed progressive causes like abortion access and curbing climate change over 17 years in the Virginia General Assembly, cruised to victory in the heavily Democratic 4th Congressional District, with the Associated Press and other news outlets calling the race for her less than 30 minutes after the polls closed.

McClellan will succeed the late Rep. Donald McEachin, who died in November after battling colorectal cancer.

McEachin had defeated Benjamin in the last two election cycles in the 4th District, which runs from the Richmond region to Petersburg and parts of Southside Virginia.

Mid-session update
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawFebruary 8, 2023

A roundup of the major issues pending in Virginia’s 2023 General Assembly session

Virginia lawmakers aren’t agreeing on much these days, but 93 of 100 members of the House of Delegates could at least find common ground on which Virginia pony is the best pony.

“It is time the Commonwealth pony up, and give Chincoteague heritage the recognition it deserves,” Del. Rob Bloxom, R-Accomack, said last week. He got most of his colleagues on board with declaring the famous Eastern Shore pony herd Virginia’s official pony, despite some opposition from lawmakers loyal to the wild mountain ponies of Southwest Virginia’s Grayson Highlands.

But halfway through an election-year session with a politically split General Assembly, opportunities for bipartisan accord have been few and far between.

Democratic State Senator from Virginia Louise Lucas and host of MSNBC’s “American Voices” Alicia Menendez discuss Virginia Democrats standing up to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s attempt to ban abortion at 15 weeks.

Rebranding rift guts Blue Dog Dem ranks, Ally Mutnick & Sarah FerrisJanuary 24, 2023

Nearly half the members of the influential centrist coalition are letting themselves out after a failed push for a name change designed for a new era.

Congress’ influential Blue Dog Coalition is getting chopped nearly in half after an internal blow-up over whether to rebrand the centrist Democratic group.

Seven of the 15 members expected to join the Blue Dogs this year, including Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), are departing after a heated disagreement over a potential name change for the moderate bloc. For now that’s left the Blue Dogs with seven, all male members — their smallest roster in nearly three decades of existence. One freshman member remains undecided.

At the core of some of the breakaway Blue Dogs’ demands was a rechristening as the Common Sense Coalition that, they argued, would have helped shed the group’s reputation as a socially moderate, Southern “boys’ club.” Blue Dogs have long stood for fiscal responsibility and national security, issues with broad Democratic appeal, but some members felt the name had a negative connotation that kept their colleagues from joining. A majority of other members disagreed, saying they saw no reason to toss out a longstanding legacy.


Virginia Senate panel blocks campaign finance reform bills, again
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawJanuary 17, 2023

Shortly after a Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to defeat a bill creating an across-the-board $20,000 cap on donations to political candidates running for the General Assembly and executive branch offices, the same panel took up another bill that would have only banned political donations from publicly regulated utilities like Dominion Energy.

Republican senators on the committee quickly noted that Dominion critics have put enormous sums of money behind Dominion-averse candidates.

“I’m afraid this bill would leave them defenseless,” Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, said of the state’s utilities.

Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Fredericksburg, pointed specifically to Charlottesville megadonor Michael Bills, the main backer of advocacy group Clean Virginia, and asked how Dominion could “counter” all the money being spent against the company.

“Well, if you’d passed the bill I had in front of you five minutes ago, you would’ve countered it,” said Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, the sponsor of both bills that went down in defeat in just the second week of an election-year legislative session.