Governor McDonnell Announces UVA Boar...

Governor McDonnell Announces UVA Board of Visitors Appointments - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA ...

There are 23 comments on the NBC29 Charlottesville story from Jun 29, 2012, titled Governor McDonnell Announces UVA Board of Visitors Appointments - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA .... In it, NBC29 Charlottesville reports that:

Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the appointment of six University of Virginia Board of Visitors positions, along with two senior board advisors, newly-created positions established by the governor.

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Charlottesville, VA

#24 Jul 1, 2012
Part 2

Bobbie Kilberg worked previously for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and both Bushes. She’s been a big fund raiser for Republicans, and said that “she had initially decided to back Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, if he ran
for president.” Haley Barbour? The same big-money tobacco lobbyist Haley Barbour who now works with Karl Rove at right-wing American Crossroads, a group that refuses to disclose its donors? The same Haley Barbour who said in reference to racial segregation in the South that "I just don't remember it as being that bad?” The same Haley Barbour who as governor of Mississippi issued pardons to eight men who’d killed their girlfriends or spouses?

As head of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Kilberg enthusiastically supported McDonnell’s “Top Jobs” legislation. McDonnell touts it as “a pathway towards awarding 100,000 more degrees over the next 15 years and will bring more innovation and accountability and STEM concentration to Virginia's colleges and universities.” Never mind that there now is and never was a STEM crisis in the U.S. Far from it.

Technology “innovation” is one of the major components of McDonnell’s “Top Jobs” plan. The notion of “innovation” includes virtual schools in K12 public education and “aligning higher education and the business sector.” That “alignment” uses terms like “reform-based investment and innovation” and “technology-enhanced instruction.” The term “reform-based” is never defined, but given the current and past state and national Republican policies, it means privatization. As McDonnell himself notes,“I have said many times before that 'Virginia is Open for Business’.”

Charlottesville, VA

#25 Jul 1, 2012
Part 3

A commenter in Charlottesville called Frank Atkinson the “ Vito Corleone of the Republican Party of Virginia.” I’m not so sure he’s the Godfather, perhaps more the consigliere, the trusted advisor and Mr. Fix-it-and-make-it-happen-and- don’t-leave-our-fingerprints-o n- it type of guy. He does have a long track record. Atkinson was Deputy Chief of Staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese as the Iran-Contra (weapons for hostages) scandal unfolded. According to the special prosecutor in that scandal, life-long Republican Lawrence Walsh, "Attorney General Edwin Meese III became directly involved in the Reagan Administration's secret plan to sell weapons to Iran in January 1986, when he was asked for a legal opinion to support the plan. When the secret arms sales became exposed in November 1986, raising questions of legality and prompting congressional and public scrutiny, Meese became the point man for the Reagan Administration's effort, in Meese's words,'to limit the damage’.” In other words, the Attorney General of the United States led a cover-up of illegal and unconstitutional acts in “a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public.”

Atkinson worked closely with former governor George Allen when he allowed a small group of conservatives to seize control of writing new state education standards, and when he foisted the standards of learning testing program on public school systems (and on taxpayers) claiming that it was “revenue-neutral.” Instead the program has cost taxpayers close to $500 million to develop and sustain, with higher costs looming.

Atkinson is a member of the Federalist Society, co-founded by Ed Meese and co-funded by the Koch brothers, a conservative organization that pushes an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution (except, of course, whenever it get in their way). Outside the Federalist cabal, the “original intent” theory of constitutional interpretation has virtually no credibility among constitutional and legal scholars. As Judge Walsh said in his aftermath book on Iran-Contra, "In calling for the narrow construction of constitutional grants of governmental power, the Federalist Society seemed to speak for right-wing Republicans. I was especially troubled that one of White House Counsel Boyden Gray's assistants had openly declared that no one who was not a member of the Federalist Society had received a judicial appointment from President Bush."

Frank Atkinson is also on the board of directors of the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Mercatus Center focuses on “economic development” and “privatization.” Ed Meese is also on its board, as are several others with very close ties to the right-wing Koch brothers (who funded Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party), including Charles Koch himself. Make no mistake. Atkinson is on the UVa board for very specific reasons.

McDonnell did indeed “double down” on his plans for UVa with the reappointment of Helen Dragas and the added appointments of Kilberg and Atkinson. The message to Teresa Sullivan is clear: comply quickly, or get out of town. So too the message to the UVa community and all those who were outraged by the duplicity and deceit: You didn’t win, the “inevitable” is only postponed.

As I noted before, the money people are going right back to work. Quickly.

McDonnell’s reappointment of Dragas and his new appointments are very much political. And, in essence, they are all about the future of public education in Virginia, and in the country.
New hoo

Charlottesville, VA

#27 Jul 1, 2012
It was clear by the rector's actions and demeanor that she was on a mission and had protection. The rector's words also made it clear by pointedly including words such as "patients" that UVa hospital was an important element of the project. On the surface not replacing the rector sends a message to UVa students that all the values and honor we thought was an important part of the UVa is now history. The most benign explanation I can come up with that assumes Rector Dragas and cohorts in the project do in fact love UVa is that they have knowledge of the Big Change that is coming. The change must be coming soon therefore explains emergency status thinking. Could this possibly be thought of as being given a tip to get out of real estate before the housing crash? I'm working to come up with a scenario in which the pieces fit.

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