Before a constitutional amendment can be placed on a ballot, the language for the amendment has to be approved by both houses, followed by an election, and then the second vote taken again by both houses in session before being placed on the ballot. not a single word or comma can be added to the language of the original amendment language.
Members of the VML don’t want the amendment to pass because it would stop cities from running roughshod over property rights. Pro and Con campaigns are currently ongoing.
The difference between the campaigns is that the VML is using citizens money to campaign and those for the amendment have to fight their own governments on the issue.
in May of 2003, then Atty. Gen. Jerry KIlgore ruled that localities were not allowed to spend tax dollars to promote their support or opposition to a referendum. seems to me a conflict may be in order. could it not be seen that by VACO and VMS using tax dollars from localities to actively oppose this private property rights issue, they are in fact a surrogate for the localities?
Virginia Beach Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson is president of the VML. She is seeking re-election this year to her at-large seat. Her dual government roles put her in conflict with the voters.
To try to distance herself from the conflicting responsibilities, she has indicated that in her role at VML, she is only performing her job as the membership directs. In her role representing the citizens of Virginia Beach she has said she doesn’t personally oppose the amendment. An odd of conflict of interests.
It had been hoped that Cuccinelli would have resolved the issue by finding unapproved taxpayer contributions could not be used against them, but he ruled just the opposite, saying that it will take legislative action to prohibit the VML from lobbying the people. You can read Cuccinelli’s full opinion: Click here: http://www.virginianewssource/PDFs/
Robert Dean, former councilman and chairman of the Tidewater Libertarian Party, supports the referendum: “Our position is quite clear and simple: We … encourage all Virginians to VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1” on the November ballot.
Protection of private property rights has long been violated by eminent domain abuse … by governments. “This amendment,” he said, “will correct that abuse if passed.”
The Virginia Farm Bureau and other organizations (VML excepted) also support the amendment.
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