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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Whippin' out the veto pen

Editor’s Notebook: Whippin’ out the veto pen

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Remember the old truism: The penis mightier than the sword. Nope, that’s not right. Should be “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Oh, if there were only copy editors left in the news biz!

But anyway.

Freshman Gov. Youngkin whipped out the ol’ veto pen this week, nixing some bills patroned by local legislators and in the process drawing the ire of Democrats and Virginia’s punditocracy (those like Norman Leahy, the Jennifer Rubin of the Virginia political class but without the garish makeup).

And the complaints ring true: Some of the vetoes seemed, mmm, odd and scattershot. But until events prove otherwise, I continue to believe that Youngkin is more clever than the typical state-politics hanger-on, so these actions obviously were done with a purpose in mind. The fact everybody can’t figure out what the purpose is may say more than them than about Youngkin.

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Also raising hackles the guvner’s attempt to force new elections for Loudoun County School Board. From a policy perspective, it’s bad; from a making-friends-with-Democrats perspective, ditto. But I am not sure our new governor cares on either score. He promised his voters he’d take on the Loudoun School Board, and he is.

Whether his proposal for early elections survives (guessing not), he still picks up plaudits from his voters. Bad policy but good politics? Most politicians will make that deal every time, especially those who are term-limited and most likely are looking nationally for their next gig.

GETTING THE LIBRARY LOWDOWN: Our weekend edition, which posts today, will contain a Q&A with Arlington library director Diane Kresh, answering questions we posed to her about why the library system has seen such a dropoff in usage and what officials are doing to try and reverse it.

It makes for interesting reading, so check it out.

-Scott McCaffrey

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