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    ‘Virginia’



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Uganda’s Anti-Gay christian mafia has American ties; a Virginia Senator called pregnant women “hosts” to unborn children; and Governor Bobby Jindal was rather rude at a recent White House Press Conference. Meanwhile, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke are separating; Lena Dunham will host SNL for the first time; and Ellen Pompeo killed her Charlie Sheen impression.

    -Gianna & Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Hillary, ‘The Family,’ and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Christian Mafia: http://rtvote.com/1et5x5
    The President of Uganda recently signed into law anti-gay legislation that establishes a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” which includes acts where one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors. The maximum sentence for “Aggravated Homosexuality” is life in prison. The legislation was crafted by David Bahati, a member of the Ugandan Parliament and core member of the American Evangelical Christians called “The Family”. “The Family” proudly calls itself the “Christian Mafia” and for over 75 years “The Family”s main goal has been to consecrate America to God.

    Virginia senator under fire after calling pregnant women ‘hosts’ to unborn babies: http://rtvote.com/1mvWXty
    Virginia Senator Steve Martin is under fire after his Facebook response to a letter from a pro-choice coalition. The letter from the coalition reportedly stated, “All women deserve access to their full range of reproductive health options — including preventing unintentional pregnancies, raising healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion.” Senator Martin responded to the letter by saying, “Once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” Needless to say, Senator Martin received various hate mail, nasty grams, vile comments and death threats after his very controversial Facebook post.

    Bobby Jindal rips Obama at bipartisan White House event: http://rtvote.com/1cLJ8nU
    After the National Governors Association’s annual meeting, the governors held a press conference and many spoke on the need to emphasize areas of common agreement, the concern about the recent defense spending cuts, increasing transportation and their shared contempt of Washington. Governor Pete Shumlin of Vermont said it best, “We governors actually have to get things done. It’s not like Congress down here.” But, despite positive remarks, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana stirred controversy with comments about President Obama’s leadership in the White House. He remarked that “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy” and also accused President Obama of “ waving the white flag of surrender job growth.”

    Amid the coverage of Ukraine, is a crisis in Venezuela being ignored?: http://rtvote.com/1fQMwLJ
    Unless you’ve been completely absent from TV, Social Media or The Internet, then there’s a 99 percent chance that you’ve heard about the crisis in Ukraine. However, as the crisis in Venezuela continues to grow, many are wondering why it hasn’t received equal media attention in comparison to the extensive coverage on Ukraine. A Venezuelan-born journalist, Mariana Atencio, made a remark that shed light on the situation for the media: “The domestic media blackout imposed by President Nicolas Maduro makes coverage by international outlets all the more crucial.” We’ll have to keep an eye out as this story develops, but the Venezuelan crisis is crucial and definitely should be a big news story.

    CULTURAL 

    Ellen Pompeo Does a Killer Charlie Sheen Impression: http://rtvote.com/OyP8YK

    Lena Dunham Set to Host Saturday Night Live For the First Time: http://rtvote.com/1fnifU0

    Reese Witherspon and Usher Play Catch Phrase on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—Watch Now!: http://rtvote.com/1fnirm1

    Late Night With Seth Meyers Premiere: 10 Things to Know About Amy Poehler, Joe Biden and the Big Night: http://rtvote.com/1jxlGMZ

    Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Split: Inside Their Roller Coaster Past Year Together: http://rtvote.com/1etlvgv

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

    The race for the marriage equality in Virginia continues; Web companies release secret government data requests; a new winter storm is looming; and a restaurant’s customer leaves a $15,000 tip. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton John will be headlining a Vegas show; and Taylor Swift talks love.

    -Gianna + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia,http://rtvote.com/1ev4K8A
    The race for marriage equality is beginning to take a sharp turn in the commonwealth of Virginia. As lawsuits are filed on both sides on the issue, many are beginning to wonder if the Virginia fight for equal rights will land in the hands of the Supreme Court. Virginia’s new Attorney General, Mark R. Herring said recently that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage, which was voted on and approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional and cannot be defended. Although, many marriage equality cases in Virginia are moving quickly, none of the cases will reach a federal court during the current term and the cases have yet to reach an appellate court.

    Web companies give first look at secret government data requests,http://rtvote.com/1jbG7RW
    As of Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have all released reports publishing details of government requested data. Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said on Monday that the information requested by the government is not as vast as many citizens have feared. “We have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records,” Smith said. Smith goes on to cite media reports in regards to Snowden’s leaked documents and finishes his remarks by saying, “Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies; We believe the Constitution requires that our government seek information from American companies within the rule of law.”

    Restaurant customer leaves $15K for three waitresses, http://rtvote.com/1ipw60F
    Three waitresses were discussing student loans and dreams of completing school when one of their customers walked over and asked for their names. The customer was a God send: she gave each young woman $5,000 dollars. The unnamed customer told the waitresses,“I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life.You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you.” What an amazing story and act of kindness!

    Bundle Up: Another Blast of Snow, Nasty Weather Moves In,  http://rtvote.com/1ipOmHd
    Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog was not kidding: there really will be more winter! Another storm is heading in this week after cold weather already caused a few issues on Monday. More than 100 million people in 24 states could be impacted by this week’s looming winter storm. The forecast is said to stretch from the Great Plains to southern New England blanketing parts of the Midwest with up to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Stay warm everyone! 

     

    CULTURAL

    Olivia Newton-John headlining Vegas show, http://rtvote.com/1aZlPbM

    William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke Dead: Lead Singer Of Third World Dies At Age 65, http://rtvote.com/1jbTr8V

    Barbara Walters Defends Woody Allen, Fights With Sherri Shepherd on The View, http://rtvote.com/MXpYlR

    Taylor Swift Talks Love: “Never Give Anyone An Excuse to Say You’re Crazy, http://rtvote.com/1bnwwQ0

    Outkast, Soundgarden to play Sasquatch! Music Festival,http://rtvote.com/1jbVfPh

    Gianna Judkins
    Bio: My name is Gianna Judkins& I'm a proud Angeleno. I'm also a Political Science Major at Howard University. I pride myself in being Michelle Obama's biggest fan and always being "FLOTUS Inspired”! As a Political Science major, my ultimate goal is to one day call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue my office. I'm a very determined young woman who understands the power of education and value of hard work while striving to achieve my goal of being one of the nation's next great leaders. I'm not that serious all the time though, for fun I enjoying singing in the choir and hanging out with friends.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    The U.S. Senate sheds new light on the attack in Benghazi; new details are released in the New Mexico middle school shooting; and Governor Chris Christie of NJ addresses “Bridgegate” in his State of the State address. Meanwhile, 2014 gets off to a rocky start for Justin Bieber and Kanye West after two high-profile incidents.

    Veronica + Maura

    CRUCIAL

    Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented: http://rtvote.com/1j7nle7
    The bipartisan report on the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi, Libya shows that the State Department was warned about the potential for attack but did not increase security around the compound. The report also blames intelligence agencies for not discussing CIA outpost locations within the U.S. military. However, the report does not discuss in depth whether the Obama administration downplayed the attacks, saying that no one knew when the attacks were to occur.

    Shooter may have warned some students: http://rtvote.com/1b39JIV
    The 12-year-old suspect accused of opening fire in a New Mexico middle school’s gymnasium yesterday morning may have warned certain students against coming to school early. This discovery is currently being investigated by police, along with other claims. So far, police have not been able to determine a motive for the shooting; however, the shooter is in custody. Two students were injured in the attack.

    Can Christie change the subject? http://rtvote.com/Kj1Nfm
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address yesterday. He acknowledged the mistakes his administration has made recently in regards to the closing of bridge lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (dubbed “Bridgegate”). After apologizing, Christie tried to change the subject to focus on more pressing policy issues in the state. However, many people believe that Christie’s reputation is now too tarnished to allow a potential presidential bid in 2016.

    CBS airs video of chaotic scene at Asiana crash site: http://rtvote.com/1hqMYnc
    CBS has recently released video footage of firefighters and emergency personnel tending to survivors and the wreckage of the Asiana plane crash. The crash occurred last summer at San Francisco airport. The story received national attention not only due to the crash, but also because of the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, who survived the crash but was struck and killed by a fire truck at the scene.

    Va. Democrat Jim Moran to retire from Congress: http://rtvote.com/1eDrVLC
    After serving twelve Congressional terms, Representative Jim Moran will not run for re-election.  Moran, an occasionally combative and passionate member of Congress, represents Virginia’s 8th District. His retirement could potentially create a heated primary election because of the 8th District’s reputation as being a Democratic stronghold.

    CULTURAL 

    Police raid Justin Bieber’s house after incident: http://rtvote.com/1m7g7nA 

    Are Johnny Depp and girlfriend Amber Heard engaged? http://rtvote.com/K2E17V

    How Harry Connick Jr. can save American Idol: http://rtvote.com/1m7gs9M

    Kanye West allegedly assaults a young man: http://rtvote.com/1aoR914 

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Intern Rock Star, Rosalie, Reflects on RTV

    Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

    Finding an internship on Twitter was not what I expected to happen. But I knew that Rock the Vote (RTV) would be a unique place to intern. Communication happened rather quickly and following two phone interviews then I had a face to face interview. Once I made it in for the interview I was pumped. The internship called for a variety of tasks from dealing with RTV merchandise, Election Day help, and blogging! I have never blogged for a professional cause before and found that experience rewarding and fun.

    I wrote my first blog about being from Virginia, a state that was holding gubernatorial elections on November 5. I also shared a little about my college experience at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, as well as the excitement I felt for Election Day. Getting to share the importance of voting in this 2013 election, and inspiring young voters to get out there and rock the vote was extremely gratifying. In addition to blogging, I enjoyed helping with pre-election day work such as calling volunteers to come out and ‘Rock the Calls”. Rock the Calls was an effort to call to the attention of young registered voters, through phone banking, that Nov. 5 was an important day to vote. We decked out the office with streamers, confetti, and plenty of snacks to fuel the phone banking effort which were carried out over the week leading up to Nov. 5.

    Calling Virginia voters and reminding them to vote was a really cool process. I enjoyed seeing all the different area codes from Virginia show up on my list of names to call! In addition to calling a bunch of fellow Virginians I enjoyed talking to the enthusiastic young voters who were already sure of where they would be going to vote and what time. I also spoke to people who had already voted absentee. The value of Rock the Calls lies in putting a voice to the importance of voting. Voting is the pinnacle of Democracy. Getting to work with a team of interns has been fun, and engaging. I have learned a lot about myself as well as how to get people excited about the political process. I have fond memories of my internship at Rock the Vote, it was short but I was happy to intern here.

    RosalieDech
    Bio: A native Virginian, I have been voting since it was legally possible for me to do so. Intern here at Rock the Vote and interested in politics, news, and civic engagement.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: November 6, 2013

    Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

    Results from the 2013 elections are analyzed after victors are announced—with wins by Christie, McAuliffe, and De Blasio capturing the headlines; talks of gay marriage being legal in Illinois emerge; and the mayor of Toronto publically admits to smoking crack. Meanwhile, excitement brews around the 2013 CMA’s and a Hunger Games star cuts off their hair (can you guess who?).

    - Sandy + Maura
    CRUCIAL

    Christie wins re-election; seen as prelude to 2016http://rtvote.com/1cEFYEh
    Last night, Republican incumbent Chris Christie won re-election in New Jersey’s governor race with the help of female and Hispanic voters, beating out Democratic Senator Barbara Buono with over 60% of the total votes. This sets Governor Christie up as a very possible Republican candidate to run for president in 2016. However, Christie has yet to reveal his plans for a presidential candidacy.

    De Blasio Is Elected New York City Mayor in Landslidehttp://rtvote.com/1cEG0fz
    Bill de Blasio won NYC’s mayoral race, defeating his opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, by a margin of 49 percentage points, with 99 percent of the votes counted. De Blasio, a supporter of very liberal change, won over many New Yorkers by acknowledging rising frustrations with income inequality, aggressive policing tactics, and lack of affordable housing. The new mayor will become the first Democrat to lead NY in a generation.

    Why Terry McAuliffe barely wonhttp://rtvote.com/19DNkV2
    In the days leading up to Election Day, public opinion polls showed that Democrat Terry McAuliffe had a very good lead on Republican Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia’s governor race. The final results pegged McAuliffe as the winner, but only by less than 3 percentage points leaving the race much closer than expected.

    Lawmakers approve gay marriage in Illinoishttp://rtvote.com/1hNol4Q
    Will Illinois be the 15th state to legalize gay marriage? It sure seems like it! Lawmakers approved a bill that extended the right to wed to same-sex couples yesterday. Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign the bill, which would go into effect on June 1, 2014.

    Toronto Mayor Admits Crack Use, as Wild Ride in Office Continueshttp://rtvote.com/1baaqkI
    Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, 44, is no stranger to public acts of drunken belligerence and other inappropriate behavior. In May, Ford denied smoking crack cocaine when questioned, but yesterday he officially admitted to using the drug. However, don’t expect him to be stepping down anytime soon. Up until this point, his right-of-center, suburban supporters have remained loyal. However, this most recent scandal may have been too much for his core constituency.

    CULTURAL

    Jennifer Lawrence Cuts Off Hair—See Pixie Cut on Hunger Games Star, http://rtvote.com/18ZxEHe

    Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour Kicks Off on Valentine’s Day 2014, http://rtvote.com/17F8UtU

    CMA Awards Ballot: Who should/will win?, http://rtvote.com/HxFMIB

    Lady Gaga to Sing In Space in 2015, http://rtvote.com/1arWPT8

    Kris Jenner Celebrates 58th Birthday with Family, Given Cake with Her Face on it, http://rtvote.com/17N1zGz

    sandywu
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com