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Results across the state
(R) Frank Wolf (D) Jeff Barnett
(D) Jim Moran
(R) Patrick Murray
tD oc ra m oc rc a c em mo e o tD em
(R) Eric Cantor (D) Rich Waugh
(R) Keith Fimian
(R) Rob Wittman (D) Krystal Ball
(I) Jeff Vanke
(D) Tom Perriello
MICHAEL MCDERMOTT / COL LEGIATE
t oc ra tDe m oc cra tDe em mo cra tD e o ra tD em oc ra tD m oc ra De m o
(R) Robert Hurt
(D) Rick Boucher
(R) Randy Forbes (D) Wynne LeGrow
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Question 1 Exempt Property
(D) Gerry Connolly
(R) Bob Goodlatte
(R) Morgan Griffith
State constitutional amendments
Question 2 Property Tax Exemption for Certain Veterans
(R) Scott Rigell (D) Glenn Nye
Question 3 Revenue Stabilization Fund
(D) Bobby Scott (R) Chuck Smith
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
COLLEGIATETIMES 107th year, issue 113
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Virginia voters see red CHALLENGER MORGAN GRIFFITH WINS SEAT AS REPUBLICANS SEIZE CONTROL IN US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LIANA BAYNE associate news editor BRISTOL, Va. — A jovial air of success filled a Bristol, Va. hotel Tuesday night as Morgan Griffith claimed the House of Representatives seat in the 9th District. About 300 supporters gathered in Bristol to celebrate as the poll numbers rolled in quickly. By 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, it seemed that victory for Griffith was certain. And by 9:15 p.m., Griffith was accepting the title of congressman for the state of Virginia, the first time a Republican has held the seat since 1983. Earning more than 51 percent of the vote, Griffith defeated Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher — a congressional mainstay of 28 years. Griffith’s victory comes as part of a nationwide wave of Republican victories. Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello, of Virginia’s 5th District, also fell Tuesday night to Republican Robert Hurt. The Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, knocking off Democratic incumbents across the country in a surge of conservative fervor just two years after Democrat Barack Obama took the White House. Griffith’s press secretary and spokesman Marty Gordon said the Virginia victories reflect the national picture. “Virginia could help change the country,” Gordon said. One major product of the recent conservative movement has been the Tea Party. Barbara Waters, a supporter from the Abingdon Tea Party, said she was in strong support of Griffith. “We want freedoms back,” she said. Waters said she believed Griffith see GRIFFITH / page ﬁve
DANIEL LIN / SPPS
Morgan Grifﬁth celebrates his victory by displaying the congressional license plate of Bill Wampler, a Republican who represented the 9th District almost three decades ago.
Boucher loses seat after 28 years SARAH WATSON & MICHELLE SUTHERLAND news staff
MAZIAR FAHANDEZH / SPPS
A Montgomery County family visits the polls at the Blacksburg Community Center Tuesday.
Turnout exceeds expectations CLAIRE SANDERSON & MEIGHAN DOBER news staff An overall voter turnout of 40.4 percent in Montgomery County was slightly higher than expected for a midterm election. “Anything higher than 35 percent would be higher than normal,” said Randy Wertz, Montgomery County registrar, who suspected the slightly higher turnout might be due to the close competition in the 9th District’s congressional race. Most people came out in morning when the polls opened and around noon. The polls also saw an influx of voters around 5 p.m. when the workday ended.
When the polls closed at 7 p.m., the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church polling place in Blacksburg had the county’s highest turnout, with 1,477 people, according to Dean Dowdy, chairman of the Montgomery County electoral board. At some of polls, college students comprised a large percentage of the votes. “Turnout was pretty low until 5:00 p.m. when students started showing up, walking and taking the bus,” said Tom Piccariello, a worker at the Gilbert Linkous Elementary poll. “It’s cool to see the students coming out.” Piccariello estimated the polling place saw about a see TURNOUT / page two
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA — After polling closely with Morgan Griffith prior to the election, incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher could not maintain his hold on Virginia’s 9th District congressional seat. Boucher’s defeat comes after serving 28 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Around 9:30 p.m., Boucher arrived at the Senior Center in Abingdon to address his supporters. “A few minutes ago I called Morgan Griffith and I congratulated him,” Boucher said. Boucher thanked his friends, supporters, staff and volunteers for their assistance with the campaign. “I want to thank my tens of thousands of friends and supporters for standing with me during this very difficult time,” Boucher said. Despite a deficit in early returns, the crowd remained optimistic earlier in the evening. Cecilia Kukoy, an Abingdon resident, voted for Boucher to help the citizens of the 9th District. “I’m hoping that Boucher will win. He’s helping those that live in extreme poverty like myself, which is way below the poverty level,” Kukoy said. But her hopes were dashed. The dynamic of the crowd was altered around 8:45 p.m. as the Republican challenger’s victory over Boucher became apparent. The once vibrant, active room hushed to a somber whisper among Boucher supporters. All eyes MALLORY NOE-PAYNE / SPPS were glued to television sets and tears were shed over the outcome. Rick Boucher speaks to supporters in Abindgon after losing the see BOUCHER / page ﬁve
House of Representatives seat he held for nearly three decades.
news editors: philipp kotlaba, liana bayne, gordon block email@example.com/ 540.231.9865
november 3, 2010
Turnout: Students contribute votes ]
Montgomery County Dems lament loss Montgomery County Democratic Committee chair Steve Cochran looked up at the television. While the 9th District race between had not been called, Cochran conceded his party’s struggles nationwide. “Looks like it’s going to be a good evening for Republicans,” Cochran said. The calling of Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher’s loss Tuesday night elicited silence from the approximately 30 supporters organized at the Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill in Blacksburg. Cochran called the race “unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” in his 37 years of involvement in politics, claiming more than $2.5 million in negative advertising went against Boucher. Cochran blamed the negative ad funds on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, which lifted bans on political spending by corporations. Blame was also pointed to national Democrats, who according to Cochran “allowed Republicans to control the message” during the campaign. Calling Boucher’s defeat a “huge loss for the people of southwest Virginia,” Cochran had few positive words for victor, Republican Morgan Griffith. “He has no concept of working in Washington,” Cochran said. “He won’t do anything there except yell ‘no.’ He has no chance of achieving anything positive.” -gordon block, associate news editor
from page one
3:1 ratio of students to non-students. But since turnout percentages are based on the number of registered voters, the popularity of the 2008 election, especially among students, could have made this year’s percentages lower. “Turnout would have been at 50 percent if in 2008 students registered and now don’t come out to vote,” said Jole Donahue, a local polling station chief.
People came out to the polls for a variety of reasons. “I think the economy is the main issue,” said Ellen Robinson, a voter. Another voter, Dennis Welch, said jobs and reform on Wall Street were some of the most important issues for him in the congressional race between Republican challenger Morgan Griffith and Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher. “I think Boucher has been a good representative throughout the years. I think Boucher will win it, but it will be
close,” Welch added. While some demonstrated loyalty to the 28-year Democratic incumbent, others said that it is time for a change. “I want to see a change in leadership,” said Kay Meadows. “I have no idea how the night will turn out, but I hope it goes the Republican way.” In the end, Montgomery County remained with Boucher, but Griffith took the seat as part of a national Republican surge that swung control of the House of Representatives to the right.
Regardless of their politics or their stances on issues, voters across the board felt it was their right and responsibility to come out to the polls. “It you don’t vote, you can’t complain about anything as far as government goes, and it’s part of our civic duty,” said David Franusich. “I’m a teacher. I try to stress to students to vote and own civic responsibility,” said Toni Piccariello, a pollworker and local teacher. “Every vote counts, we can’t think it doesn’t matter.”
Internet mapping project expands ERIN CHAPMAN news staff writer A project started at Virginia Tech in 2006 to map Internet providers and speed across Virginia has developed into a nationally recognized program. Accelerate Virginia and eCorridors have created the first consumer-based Internet speed testing. Users log on to the program, enter their street address, the type of location, their Internet provider and cost, among other information. Anyone using the mapping tool can plug his address in to get a point on his position, the more specific the address and information provided, the more in-depth the analysis can be. Ideally, residential and business locations will use the tool. Students who live off-campus in Blacksburg have a variety of choices when choosing an Internet provider, but often they don’t receive the advertised coverage. This project will be
able to take input from actual users and put it in the hands of the providers as evidence of what type of service residents are receiving. “Students are used to the high speed of Internet on campus, then they go to their apartment and there is a huge discrepancy; we want to work with the town and Tech so there is no difference,” said Brenda van Gelder, executive director for converged technologies for security, safety and resilience at Tech. For the best assessment, users should run the test multiple times during different times of day and different days of the week. The average of these would be the most accurate estimation of Internet speed. Gelder hopes this type of test can be run automatically in the future, without the user having to do anything. The unique project was started by eCorridors to map Internet usage over areas in Virginia, then in 2008 the program received federal funding and
was able to expand into Accelerate Virginia and create a more accurate mapping program. Every state has received funding to measure broadband coverage, but no other state is doing consumer research. The state will then look at the information and compare what providers are actually providing against what they advertise. “It is exciting that Tech is leading this. The public has the opportunity to carry the torch by taking a two minute speed test,” said Patrick Fey, a communications manager for Tech’s center for geospatial information technology. However, it is still a work in progress and could take years to perfect. “We just need as much consumer information as possible,” said Jean Plymale, who works with applications research and development in the eCorridors program. “The goal is to make it as simple as possible.” Eventually the questions will be more precise, and input from Internet
providers in the area could be used to help formulate more accurate questions. Although the focus is mainly on Virginia, anyone who stumbles upon the website can plug in his information and have his Internet speed tested. There are both long- and short-term benefits to the program. “Short-term is seeing the result page and becoming aware of your Internet speed and what else might be available to you,” Fey said. In the future, increased Internet access could help facilitate economic development, education and even health care improvements. “We want people to tell their social network, friends and family about this,” Fey said. “We are hoping people will spend a few minutes to run this test.” Anyone interested in running the Accelerate Virginia Internet speed test can visit AccelerateVirginia.org/ speedtest.
Local Republicans celebrate victories Cheers filled the room as Fox News called the election for Republican Morgan Griffith. “We’re very excited,” said Marcy Hernick, chairman of the Montgomery County Republicans, after the results of the 9th District congressional race were announced. Hernick said her grouo was very busy Tuesday getting people out to vote, with Blacksburg volunteers making more than 5,000 calls. Griffith unseated incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher and now represents Virginia’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Eyes were glued to the television as the results trickled in. “It’s what I expected, there’s really apparent dissatisfaction with Congress and Washington,” said Mike O’Brien, an industrial systems engineering major, as one volunteer turned up the volume for Sarah Palin’s commentary. “They are picking up seats because Republicans are unhappy.” O’Brian was less optimistic about the state of the political system. “Unless they live up to their campaign promises it’s going to continue to be this back and forth, polarizing the country,” O’Brien said. “People are always unhappy with those in office.” -jay speidell, news staff writer
Name and Age
Vandalism to a vehicle window
Oct. 30 Nov. 1
1:00 a.m. - Owens Lot 1:05 p.m.
Breaking and entering, larceny of a laptop
Oct. 30 Oct. 31
4:30 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
Daily Fire Log--No incidents to report Traffic--No incidents to report
Status Inactive Under investigation
In “Federal work study funding slashed,” (CT – Oct. 29) federal work study money decreased, rather than federal loans. Also, Simmons met with work study supervisors in August. -the collegiate times regrets these errors.
JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
november 3, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Better driving etiquette needed around campus you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be walking in If the street while I was behind the wheel of the car, chances are you have nearly been run over. You might have walked in front of me at a crosswalk without looking around, or maybe you weren’t on the street at all and I almost hit you as I ran up on the curb. Either way, campus traffic is full of potentially dangerous distracted individuals. Campus roads provide ample opportunity to strike pedestrians and cyclists with vehicles, and if I were a person who enjoyed that sort of thing, I’d be in luck. Regrettably, I am legally required to not be that kind of person. Firstly, if you’d like to get to the magical land across the street, you must place your feet upon enormous white lines known as crosswalks. The lack of a sign or a plaque reading “Cross here” seems to confuse most people, and probably explains why half of them jet out between parked cars and treat oncoming vehicles like psychics, instead of the 4,000-pound killing machines they are. We’ve all heard that “pedestrians always have the right of way,” but it’s simply not true if you aimlessly wander into the middle of the street. Drivers should never assume the thousands of kids going to and from class in the morning are going to stop crossing the street. Be prepared to wait at least three hours in front of each crosswalk before your car makes it around the Drillfield — bring blankets and dinner just in case. A slowwalking pedestrian is your only chance to escape traffic limbo. For all you drivers who seem to think “The Fast and the Furious” was the greatest movie ever made, you are wrong. You are very, very wrong. Slow down. Human life is not as priceless as we’re told; every pedestrian has a price tag — quite a large one, actually. Impatience is a virtue very dear to my heart, but it does you no good on campus. Anyone who drives understands my sentiment
doesn’t only concern pedestrians. The horrific battle for parking spaces begins at 5 p.m., in front of Squires Student Center, if anyone needs cheap entertainment for a few hours. If we ignore the fact that parking lots turn into wild versions of bumper cars at night, and that pedestrians don’t know what oncoming traffic is, we can set our sights on something that brings the two groups together. I’m speaking, of course, about our mutual aversion to cyclists and skateboarders. As a cross between a pedestrian and a moving vehicle, they get away with running red lights and going against traffic, in spite of the law. At this point, you really shouldn’t have to ask if I’ve ever been close to hitting a cyclist. Our two-wheeled friends are not all bad, though. Cyclists get their own lane and they tend to stay in that lane for the most part. They should be commended for that, especially when drivers constantly seem to forget bike lanes exist. Skateboarders pose another threat altogether because they drift along on sidewalks where the majority of pedestrians are and pretend to be Bucky Lasek. Luckily for all of us, most skateboarders don’t know how to stay on their boards long enough to hit anything. With that said, it’s unfair to place all the blame on the people who walk, drive, bike or skateboard themselves around campus. Virginia Tech has a dangerous commuting structure that causes accidents and unsafe competition for parking. It should be fixed, no questions asked. Until that day, keep in mind there are thousands of people on campus who shouldn’t even have a license to walk. Take a little extra care and try not to run them over, OK?
COURTNAY SELLERS -regular columnist -history major -junior
On the road to more government control A
California county recently banned fast-food restaurants from including toys in their kids’ meals. The goal of this new ban is to reduce rampant obesity in today’s youth by breaking “the link between unhealthy food and prizes.” On the face of it, the effects of this ban seem trivial: so what if there are no longer any toys with meals? But however petty this law may seem at first glance, its implications are anything but. If we accept the underlying premise of this ban — that it is proper for the government to outlaw practices with which it disagrees in the name of what’s “best” for us — then the debate is no longer about whether the government should control our lives; it is merely a question of how much. Our lives are comprised of a constant series of decisions, ranging from the foods we should eat to the careers we pursue to the relationships we choose to have — any number of which it might be asked: is that a healthy choice? Is that really best for you? If we accept it is the government, and not we as individuals, who decide the answers to these questions, there is no logical end to how intrusive the government may become. If kids’ meals should not include toys, then maybe McDonald’s should be banned from having playgrounds, because these might attract children to eat there. Or maybe the company’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, should be banned because he appeals to children. Or perhaps fast food restaurants should not be allowed to paint their exteriors with bright, cheerful colors but instead must look drab (like cigarette cartons and ads are forced to do). And maybe banning fast food restaurants in general (as has already been done in other California towns) would be a good idea, since they’re not healthy for anyone. The logical consequence of banning toys in kids’ meals is the government’s ever-increasing control over what foods a restaurant can sell, how it can sell them, and what we as consum-
ers can eat. This means someone who usually eats healthy foods but likes to occasionally bite into a juicy cheeseburger may no longer have the choice to decide whether he can do so. Or a mom who on occasion purchases kids’ meals for her child for the convenience of an easy and quick bite may no longer have the luxury of deciding to pursue that option. These decisions will be left up to the government. There are those who will scoff at this “slippery slope” argument. But if these predictions seem too speculative, remember the laws of today are the parodies of yesterday. Back in 1994, many people thought it was absurd for tobacco companies to argue anti-smoking legislation opened the door to regulation of food. Sixteen years later, here we are. Where will we be in 2026? Once a legal principle is established and increasingly entrenched — as this law will further entrench the principle that government should control our food choices — history shows us that the implications of such a principle will be carried out over time. This nation was rightly founded on the premise that we have the right to exercise our own choices, even when our decisions might be mistaken or when others disagree. If companies want to offer toys with their kids’ meals, even if these meals may be considered unhealthy, they should be free to do so. Likewise, parents should be free to decide whether they want to purchase such meals for their children. And of course, those that oppose such practices should be free to advocate their opposition. What the fast-food toy ban does instead is sidestep all of these freedoms and paternalistically impose a course of action on law-abiding Americans. Our government should not be making these choices for us under the ostensible goal of doing what is in our “best” interest. We should be able to decide that for ourselves.
RITUPARNA BASU -mcclatchy newspapers
Tech should assist in handling off-campus housing pitfalls hen I transferred to Virginia Tech my sophomore year, I W was looking for a place to live when I found Tech’s off-campus housing website. I found this to be very useful when looking for apartments. I even went to the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing Fair, which allowed me to ask questions about the different housing communities. All in all, signing the lease and finding a place that fit my budget was fairly easy to do. However, the move out and dealing with my leasing company was not. ImovedintoOakBridgeApartments, right across the street from school for the 2009-2010 school year. This was my first apartment, so I did not know what to expect. They took my friend and I on a tour of the possible apartments we could rent. Everything was clean and tidy, and I thought the apartments were great. We signed the lease and a piece of paper acknowledging there may still be traces of lead paint in the somewhat old apartments. I found this weird because I thought they painted the walls after each tenant leaves, or every couple of years. I was wondering why there would be lead paint still in the apartments — lead paint isn’t sold anymore. To my surprise, the apartment was not very clean when we moved in.
The bathtub handle had mold in it, the carpets smelled like urine (which our lessor had to steam-clean twice to get rid of the smell); the place was a mess. I thought the leasing company was going to clean up the apartment before we moved in. According to the lease, the previous tenants were supposed to clean the apartment top to bottom upon move out, as well as get it steam-cleaned. If they are not cleaned properly, CMG Leasing goes back in and charges the exiting tenants for the cleaning. OakBridge did give us a check sheet, where we could write anything down we noticed was not normal wear and tear. Still, they did not fix everything. When we moved out, we cleaned for two days straight; we left it a lot cleaner than when we moved in. When we moved out, a couple weeks later we get a letter stating spurious charges, such as using a Magic Eraser on the wall (which we did not do) and $800 total for damages. They had taken pictures of walls, underneath the sink, and other random stuff. My parents were trying to figure out what they were actually taking pictures of, because they showed no damage. It is partly my fault for not looking up the reviews for OakBridge Apartments. Had I done that, I would have known the place to be deceitful. But I was just very excited to finally
have an apartment of my own as close as it was to campus. When I did finally look on Apartmentratings.com, it was after I moved out. Nearly all 18 comments described how OakBridge tried to swindle more people out of their safety deposits and then charge them more money (some more than $900) for bogus charges. Many people, including myself, are considering legal action. Since Tech has an off-campus housing website and office, it should be more aware of the liberties these leasing companies take with students. The Off-Campus Housing Fair is a great idea, but it does not allow the students to review what other tenants thought about the place and the people running it. A review section added to the off-campus housing website would be very beneficial for people looking for places to live. They would be able to read what actual students think, know what not to do, what to do and what to look for when seeking housing. It would have made things easier for me in the long run.
BRITTANY FORD -regular columnist -history major -junior
Can Republicans rescind Obama’s health care plan? epublican congressional candidates have declared war on the R Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare, as they call it. They have called for its repeal, and promised to work toward that end if elected. But the rhetoric is largely political theater. Even if Republicans were to gain control of both the House and Senate in the upcoming election, they would not have 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. And President Barack Obama would surely wield his veto pen to prevent destruction of his signature legislative achievement. Still, the knives are out, and though the foes of health care reform can’t turn back the clock, they certainly will try to inflict whatever damage they can. The reforms passed by Congress require five years of implementation, which will involve complex decisions at the federal and state level. At every step, vociferous opponents, including virtually all Republicans and many special-interest groups, will be looking for ways to undermine the reforms. In Congress, there are two tactics that a new Republican majority might use to slow health care reform. One is to attach amendments to essential, nonhealth care-related legislation to delay new taxes and benefits and undercut cost-control measures (such as the new commission to monitor and control Medicare expenditures). The GOP is also likely to use committee hearings and investigations to harass Obama administration officials and prod federal and state officials to loosen rules and accommodate private insurers. Another avenue for fighting the law will be the courts. Legal cases asking judges to rule the reforms unconstitutional are great fundraising tools for opponents, and will probably produce the occasional legal victory as the cases work their way through the courts. But most legal scholars agree that in the end, all or most of the legislation will probably survive. As health care reform was designed in Congress during 2009 and 2010, its advocates chose the most advantageous legal terrain; indeed, the actual bill can be read as a conversation with the courts, complete with findings
and quotes from prior judicial decisions (including those of the Supreme Court’s current conservative coalition). For the Supreme Court to ultimately find the law unconstitutional would uproot a wide swath of past decisions, including established conservative jurisprudence relating to restricting abortion, extending the right to bear arms, outlawing medical marijuana and other findings. Another avenue of attack will come — is already coming — from the health care industry. As the Obama administration and states draw up rules to implement the new law, they are also having to parry arguments from lobbyists over such issues as how much of the premiums collected by insurance companies are devoted to actual health care, as opposed to administrative overhead and CEO bonuses. Big profits are at stake, and not surprisingly, insurers as well as employers, health care providers and the manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceutical products are all pressing for rules that grant them maximum discretion and generous payments. Administration officials have to decide when to play tough and when to give temporary ground. The battle also will play out at the state level, where some Republican governors are already dragging their feet on setting up the new insurance exchanges that will allow people to use subsidies and shop for insurance plans. All of these attempts to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act carry a potential cost. Though public opinion remains closely divided about the law as a whole, majorities of Americans approve of many of its specifics, such as rules that will stop insurers from dropping sick people, or that keep young adults eligible to stay on family insurance plans, or provide new benefits for seniors and tax breaks for businesses. Other aspects — including subsidies for lower-income Americans, measures to control rapidly rising health care costs and a requirement that people must purchase insurance or pay a penalty — are more controversial. Still, the more Americans learn about threats to popular parts of
health care reform, the less they will like those threatening to go back to 2009. Republicans may soon learn that reopening years of battle over health care reform will play poorly with most Americans. Moreover, if Republicans try to undo certain aspects of the plan, they may find themselves alienating some of their campaign contributors. Insurance companies and health care businesses are giving big money to Republicans in this cycle, and they will expect a return on their investment. But a couple of the provisions most hated by the right wing and by “tea partyers” are ones that health care businesses have embraced. The “individual mandate” rule, for example, which requires most Americans to buy insurance after federal subsidies make it affordable, is something many health care businesses want to keep, because it promises more paying customers and encourages people without known health problems to carry insurance, thus spreading out the risk. On some issues, GOP leaders will have to choose between pleasing donors and pleasing the tea partyers. It’s not surprising that we’re seeing pushback to Obama’s health care reforms. Social Security was passed in 1935, but it faced delays and challenges for decades before it was fully embraced as an essential part of U.S. economic and family life. Medicare went through ups and downs too. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act faces years of struggles, and may be delayed or watered down in the short run. But over the years, many states will work out their own versions of broad coverage and effective regulation, as California is already doing. Bit by bit, with a lot of variations across the 50 states, the U.S. health care system will evolve toward more secure, affordable and cost-effective health care for all Americans. Obama’s legacy will stand in the end, and we’re betting that by 2025, if not sooner, we will look back and wonder what all the shouting was about.
LAWRENCE R. JACOBS & THEDA SKOCPOL -mcclatchy newspapers
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november 3, 2010
Griffith: Protection for local coal industry tops priorities from page one
would listen to the needs of the people and of her Tea Party platform. Other attendees commented about wanting to go back to “common sense conservatism” with Griffith. While watching the numbers rolling in on a laptop in the corner of the conference center, Gordon commented to an assistant that he could have cried. Gordon attributed Griffith’s win to the GOP’s recent “get out the vote” campaign. He said the current state delegate visited every county in the 9th District at least twice in the past month. “I think it really changed in the last two weeks, when our message got out,” Gordon said. “In the last two weeks the foot soldiers got out there with the ‘get out the vote’ efforts.” Rally attendee Mike Osborne, who campaigned against Boucher in 2000, said he thought this year’s political atmosphere was better for Republicans. Osborne said Boucher had never had a challenger able to match him monetarily in the way Griffith did this election year. “Theatmosphereiselectric,”Osborne said of the ballroom. “It’s all waiting on Montgomery. The only thing that could spoil it is Montgomery County. I think Griffith will win.” Montgomery County, which includes Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, didn’t rain on Griffith’s parade. When Griffith maintained the lead with all county precincts reporting, the celebration began. Griffith did not win the county, but Boucher’s advantage — 52 percent to 45 percent — was not enough to erase his deficit in the overall race. In a press conference, Griffith said although he did not win the majority
vote in Montgomery County, “the fact that we got close was gratifying.” Griffith, who visited Blacksburg on Sunday night as part of his “get out the vote” campaign, said he hoped young people would take away from his campaign to “stand up for you believe in and fight for what you believe in.” Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, current political advisor of the Fox News Network and notable national Republican Party member, called Gordon on the phone after Montgomery County reported its tally and said he wanted to project Griffith as the winner of the race. In a display of joy, the campaign invited a spontaneous crowd member, coal worker Junior Branham, on-stage to sing the national anthem. “I’ve never been more discouraged and disappointed in America,” Gordon said. “But my hope’s coming back.” The man led the entire crowd in a sing-along of the national anthem. Joyce Giunta, who is the president of the Southwest Virginia Women’s Republicans group, volunteered at the polls in Damascus County. She said she had seen an “unbelievable momentum” of people coming to vote on Tuesday and she had never seen anything like it. The members of the crowd stood and sheered loudly when Griffith entered the room at around 9:15 p.m. Griffith was greeted by cheers of “USA.” Former congressman Bill Wampler, the last Republican to hold the seat before Boucher took over 28 years ago, spoke in a shaking voice about the history of the GOP in the 9th District. “Everybody here should take pride in the district,” Wampler said. He urged voters to stand behind Griffith as they have done throughout the campaign. Griffith attributed his success to his
supporters. “This has been a great victory for you all,” Griffith said. “I appreciate it, and I look forward to being your servant in the United States Congress.” In his acceptance speech, Griffith praised the support his wife and family had given him. He thanked his supporters and the Republican state delegates who had campaigned for him. “The only sadness I have is the fact that I will give up being the first and only majority Republican leader in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Griffith said. He will abandon his state House of Delegates seat with his election, but said he embraced the move because “we need some fight up there in Washington.” Griffith can serve in his current capacity until taking his new office. A special election could be held to fill his seat. “I am glad to have put some fight back into the fighting 9th District,” Griffith said. Griffith said a few moments before his arrival at the Holiday Inn in Bristol he received a call from Boucher. He said Boucher congratulated him and offered to assist Griffith during the transition. “It was truly a wonderful phone call,” Griffith said. “He is a true Virginia gentleman.” Then Griffith addressed his policy goals. He emphasized during the press conference he believed his victory to be “a referendum against the ObamaPelosi agenda.” “Washington has a lot of problems,” Griffith said. “That’s what this election was about.” Griffith attributed his victory to wins in coal-heavy counties like Tazewell County and said he wanted to work to “reign in the EPA,” which he said will
DANIEL LIN / SPPS
Former Rep. Bill Wampler gives the victory sign as he congratulates Grifﬁth Tuesday night in Bristol, Va. increase jobs in the 9th District and keep energy costs low. “The critical issue is cap-and-trade,” he said. “It’s about jobs and cap-andtrade is the two-ton elephant in the room.” “If we can make it so we can use our abundant energy sources and keep our energy costs low, we can compete against any country in the world,” he said. He said the state’s agenda needs to be better represented on the federal level. “We have made Virginia one of the best places to do business, we have made Virginia one of the best plac-
es to raise a family, with your help we are going to take that agenda to Washington and make America one of the best places to do business in the world,” Griffith said. “I ask you not only for your help in supporting me, but also bring me your ideas,” Griffith said to the crowd. “There are lots of great ideas out there and if you bring them to me we will do our best to take them to Washington.” He concluded his 20-minute speech with a prayer. “Without the Lord’s protection, we could not be here,” he said. “So God bless each and every one of you and
God bless the United States.” Griffith’s wife, Hilary, said after her husband’s speech that she didn’t believe he would have won without help from the College Republicans and Virginia Tech students. Lexy Rusnak, the president of the College Republicans at Tech, said she was in shock after Griffith announced his victory. She was left speechless and said she was thrilled at the victory. Campaign field director Blake Roarke, field director for Griffith’s campaign, said Rusnak played “a pivotal role for leadership” of the College Republicans at Tech.
Technical difficulties halt Boucher: Negative ads some electronic polling contribute to defeat CLAIRE SANDERSON
from page one
news reporter Some Montgomery County voters had to make their election decision on paper ballots after the county encountered problems with computer voting methods. The struggles come as the county implements exclusively electronic poll books for the first time. “You’ve got to keep in mind that the people that work the polls are normally up in age. The average age is anywhere from 65 to 72,” said Randy Wertz, Montgomery County registrar. “A lot of those individuals have never been around laptops, and even though we had 15 or so training sessions, some were still not comfortable with the new technology.” Wertz said when the electronic poll books were rolled out to the polls yesterday morning, several of the chiefs left out a step in the set-up, and it took a while to get them up and running. The county was able to provide paper polling books at those polls to
MAZIAR FAHANDEZH / SPPS
Poll workers await voters at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Blacksburg Tuesday. New technology stumped some workers. make sure everyone had a chance to vote. As of 2 p.m., Wertz said 14 of the 22 polling places had gotten the electronic poll books up and running, and the remaining eight would just use paper throughout the day. “We had a bumpy start at
the beginning this morning, but now we’ve got everything going well for tonight,” Wertz said. Wertz said the difficulties have not affected voter turnout, which he expects to be slightly higher than normal midterm elections beacuse of the close races.
“This is a sad day in the 9th District,” said Mark Graham, a Boucher supporter. “Boucher’s done a lot, it’s certainly going to have a longer term impact. I’m just trying to soak it all in.” Valerie Castle-Stanley, a member of the Communications Workers of America, expressed concern for jobs in the district. “At this point I’m just anxious and upset. Organized labor supports (Boucher),” Castle-Stanley said. “Jobs are going to go elsewhere, higher paying jobs are going to go elsewhere. Labor bargaining rights are going to decrease. I’m just speechless.” Younger supporters of Boucher at Tuesday’s election party were also disappointed with the result. “Boucher is a dying breed, but one of the most respectable congressman,” said Chris Hatcher, a recent Emory & Henry graduate. “I’m a moderate independent, and he is someone who can vote on both sides of the article.” Boucher expressed frustration with negative campaign advertisements that ran against him.
MALLORY NOE-PAYNE / SPPS
Hilary Boucher joins her husband on stage as he thanks supporters. “The level of attack ads was just breathtaking. And nothing like that has happened in the history of the western part of Virginia,” Boucher said. Boucher also extended well wishes to Griffith, who joined many Republican brethren in taking control of the House.
“When he succeeds, the 9th District succeeds. In the end, that’s what matters the most,” Boucher said. Boucher said he had not made any plans for his future. “At the moment I have no plans accept to go with my wife to the top of a mountain somewhere nearby and just enjoy a great view.”
Former Hokie ﬁnds way in professional soccer league COURTNEY LOFGREN sports reporter In September, former Virginia Tech men’s soccer goalie Chase Harrison signed with Major League Soccer’s D.C. United. Harrison appeared in 79 games from 2002-2005 for the Hokies, registering 289 saves, 24 shutouts and maintained a 1.13 goals against average. He now serves in a backup role with D.C. United. Harrison recently caught up with the Collegiate Times before D.C. United’s final game of the season. COLLEGIATE TIMES: Describe your time at Tech both individually and team oriented. HARRISON: I’ll try to keep it somewhat brief for you. When I came to Tech I was kind of a recruited walkon. During my time there with Oliver Weiss being the head coach and current head coach Mike Brizendine as an assistant coach, we went to the NCAA tournament for the first time. I was able to set a few goalkeeper records when I was there. In my first season I ended up getting a starting position and starting for four years. After my senior season, I was able to be picked up in the supplemental draft to Real Salt Lake, which also gave me an opportunity to come back in the offseason and work as an assistant coach with the team. CT: Describe your time working as an assistant/volunteer coach with the Hokies. HARRISON: I was actually a paid assistant. I did two years as an assistant
city to city, basically every season? HARRISON: I mean, there’s obviously a lot of sacrifice with the lifestyle of moving so often and being in different cities in the last five years. But, there’s so many great things out of it. Obviously I love the sport and I’d like to be a part of it as much as I can. Having the opportunity to travel across the country with the teams I’m on and also being able to live in the different East and West Coast cities and the different relationships you build with players, it’s very rewarding actually.
coach and goalkeeper trainer and then one year as a volunteer coach. It was great because the development of the program while I was a player put the program into the tournament for the first time and saw the program progress, which was great from a player standpoint. Then as a coach, to work with the new guys coming in and some of my old teammates, and go to the final four in the NCAA tournament, still felt like I was a part of the team. CT: How did the MLS draft affect you and what did you have to go through? HARRISON: I was actually on a trial in (Los Angeles), with L.A.Galaxy and the supplemental draft was going on while I was on the plane on the way back. When the plane landed I had about eight missed calls from my friends and family telling me I had been picked up by Real Salt Lake, which was a bit unexpected and an unbelievable experience. I had an opportunity to go to Salt Lake quickly after getting back from L.A., to start preseason. That process was a great experience. CT: What did you do after being drafted? Did you stay with Real Salt Lake? HARRISON: I’ve been around with a few teams actually. Now signing with D.C., this is the eighth team I’ve played with. After Salt Lake, I went down to the lower division to get more playing time. I went to Virginia Beach, and then Salt Lake brought me back halfway through that season. After that, I signed with a USL 1 team — the Rochester Rhinos in
CT: What has your first six weeks been like with D.C. United so far? HARRISON: It’s been great. I originally came just to train and keep in shape for the offseason. I ended up having the opportunity to sign about a week, week and a half after I got here. Just having the opportunity to play back at this level has been great. Getting to travel with the team to Denver and Canada has been great. And getting to be a part of Jamie Moreno’s (retirement) — he’s been such a big part of the franchise and building the league — it’s been great to be apart of his final games.
This season I was with the Richmond Kickers in Virginia and now I am signed with D.C. United.
CT: What are your plans for the offseason? HARRISON: Nothing is set in stone. At the end of the season we’ll have our exit interviews with the coaches to see what their thoughts are for the future and possibly bringing me back to D.C. (I have) a potential try out in Israel. Nothing is really set but I’m just looking to extend my career and continue playing.
CT: Is it hard to pick up your life from
CT: Do you ever get to make it down
FILE / SPPS
Harrison was a four-year starter in goal for the Hokies and later an assistant coach. He now plays for MLS club D.C. United. New York. Then I was traded to the Portland Timbers in Oregon and then the Harrisburg City Islanders. This past season I signed with Crystal Palace Baltimore.
to Blacksburg and see any of the recent teams play? HARRISON: Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make it back this season. Whenever I have free time I try to visit because I’m still really close with the coaching staff there. I just haven’t had time this season; I’ve already been with three different teams. I love coming back to Blacksburg and hopefully around Christmas break I’ll be able to poke my head around. CT: What was it like working with coach Brizendine? HARRISON: It was great; Briz and I became really close when I was an assistant coach there. We were obviously traveling a lot on the road recruiting and we got to share a lot of time together. We speak on the phone weekly and keep in contact. He’s just a great person to the core; he does everything right, from his work life to his home life. He’s a great guy and his work ethic has paid off for him. I’m very happy he’s had the opportunity to step into this head-coaching role and I look forward to all the success he’ll have in the future. CT: What would you say to our current Hokies team, which has struggled this season? HARRISON: That’s a tough question. I would just let them know everything comes in stages and not everything’s going to come together right away. Work hard and realize that your teammates are like a family and that you need to play for each other like you’re brothers. If you continue to work for each other, the goals will come, the wins will come and everything will fall in place.
6 food & drink november 3, 2010
editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Local Roots serves up high quality, but small, entrees on’t let the incredibly bland name fool you. Local Roots is quite the D classy affair for those with a little more green to throw around. The restaurant is nestled along a quaint city street in Roanoke next to the Grandin Theatre, giving it some small town charm. However, the eatery’s decor is far from quaint. A large glass door leads customers into a lavish setting that is dimly lit, but not too dark, to set the proper mood. Beautiful wooden tables dot the spacious room, with a few booths toward the back. The waiter offered my friend and I multiple table options, and we decided on one that looked rather unique compared to the others. The table looked like the cross-section of a tree, still boasting all the knots and grooves. Aside from a few times when I thought my water glass might topple over an uneven section of the table, it was a very pleasant dining experience. The meal began with prompt attention from the waiter, who eagerly rattled off a lengthy description of the day’s specials. However, I decided to keep it simple and order a chicken dish off the regular menu. The menu itself was a bit surprising. Instead of some fancy, leatherbound parchment, it was simply a single printed page. While the paper still looked fairly nice, it didn’t seem to jive with the prices it listed. My selection was a whopping $25, and it was not the most expensive item on the menu. While waiting for our meals, a plate
of freshly baked bread was delivered. The flavor was rich and the garlic herb butter spread was incredible. However, there were only four rather small pieces of bread for a table of two. The bread was such a tease — whetting my appetite but still leaving me starving. I rationalized this was for the best, so I could eat more of my main course. Not too long after we had finished the bread, our meals arrived. The service was actually quicker than I had expected. In my experience, many fancy restaurants are slow, but Local Roots definitely excelled in timeliness, and the waiter was very attentive without being pushy. Still, the stellar service could not compensate for my initial reaction when dinner was served. My dish was certainly aesthetically pleasing, but the portion just seemed so meager, especially in comparison to the large plate it was situated on. The amount of chicken seemed tiny and proved to be even smaller once I cut it off the bone. The whipped mashed potatoes offered only a few large mouthfuls, and there was an inadequate amount of gravy. Proportionally, the broccoli was actually the greatest asset on the plate. While the amount of food may have been disappointing, the taste was not. The chicken was tender and juicy, and there were no chewy parts whatsoever. The potatoes were rich and creamy but still not too heavy. The gravy tasted like a grandmother’s recipe handed down for generations.
While vegetables are often just brushed aside, the broccoli was actually the best part. The stalks had soaked up all of the other flavors on the plate, leaving them with a succulent crunch I never knew broccoli could have. I have never been a fan of veggies, but the broccoli completely changed my perspective. The food was phenomenal; I just wish there had been more of it given the expense. The relatively steep prices did not shock me since the restaurant tries to buy all food locally and devoid of pesticides, hormones and the like. Still, the price and quantity of food did not match. Perhaps I was disappointed because we live in a society that has come to expect out-of-control portions for a great price. While The Cheesecake Factory’s servings are going overboard, I would have appreciated a bit more on my plate. In the end, I walked away satisfied but still a bit hungry. The restaurant would be great for a date, family function, prom, rehearsal dinner or some other special occasion. The clientele appeared to be in the older age bracket and most were dressed very nicely, though this should not deter younger diners. Just be prepared to lighten your wallet and stop to get more food on your way home.
hether we like it or not, the cold and rainy Blacksburg days are quickly approaching. Spend a chilly afternoon inside making these soft and delicious gingersnap cookies, sure to warm up any day with their tasty mix of spices. by Mika Maloney, features reporter
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Gingersnaps Recipe Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 25 Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup vegetable shortening 1 cup white sugar 1 egg 1/4 cup dark molasses 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets. 2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and blend well. 3. In a large bowl whip the shortening until it reaches a creamy consistency. Slowly beat in first the sugar, followed by the egg and then the dark molasses. 4. Incrementally stir the flour mixture into the shortening mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms. 5. Make small 1-inch diameter cookies, rolling each one in the cinnamon sugar mixture and placing them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. 6. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
PATRICK MURPHY -features staff writer -junior -communication major
Baked good creations whipped up with alcohol prove tasty and ﬂavor spiked hether delicately flavored or thoroughly saturated, alcohol flavored W cakes are yummy. That’s the short review for understanding the attraction of a new cookbook, “Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine and Beer” by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone. Spicing cake with alcohol is an ageold tradition. Roman soldiers ate them. The English were known for their trifles — layers of whipped cream or custard, brandy (or other liquor) and cake — served at elegant parties. Rum cakes were popular on special occasions. “Booze Cakes” is an attractive cookbook with full color pictures and simple instructions. An easy guide to the basics is included in the front. Along the way, there are special warnings — such as how to safely flambe a cake (think baked Alaska.) Most of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket and liquor store. In my case, the latter read the recipe and then recommended the proper champagne and beers. Many booze cakes are not as alcoholic as one might think. More often the addition of alcohol makes the cake richer and moist, rather than boozy. The authors warn that “it’s possible that the amount of alcohol in these cakes could get someone drunk, but it most likely won’t.” Additional chapters cover homemade mixers — think eggnog — and “toppings, frostings and fancy garnishes” such as cream puffs, and chocolate covered cherries, with or without booze. It also has a metric conversion table Having tested three recipes — the Pink Champagne cake, the Honey Spice Beer Cake, and the Rum & Coke Whoopie Pies — my only caveat is that, in each case, the icings were watery. My consumers simply scooped up the too-liquid icing and poured it over the cake. Problem solved. In the case of the Rum & Coke, they were eaten open-faced so that a thicker dollop of icing smeared on top. As “Booze Cakes” says, “The great thing about baking practice is that you get to eat your mistakes.” So true. There were no leftovers.
TISH WELLS -mcclatchy newspapers
RUM & COKE WHOOPIE PIES Chocolate Soda Cakes: 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup cola 2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tbls unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt Fluffy Rum-spiked cream filling: 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup marshmallow fluff
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. 2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and cola. Add it to creamed butter and egg mixture. Beat in flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 3. Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for the cakes to spread; bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely. FOR THE CREAM FILLING: 4. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and marshmallow fluff until light and creamy. Mix in rum. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar, mixing until light and fluffy. 5. Sandwich a generous amount of filling between cooled cakes.
MIKA MALONEY / COLLEGIATE TIMES