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Lawmakers Boo "Young Liberals"

Tim Craig

A group of students from Charlottesville and Albemarle County high schools didn't exactly experience southern hospitality when they visited the state Capitol yesterday.

During the House session, Del. David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) stood up to introduce the students, who were sitting in the gallery. But when Toscano said the students were members of the "Charlottesville Young Liberals" club, some GOP lawmakers started booing.

After initially being taken aback, Toscano responded by saying: "They are here to witness the process. Whatever you may think of what they may think, I hope you would give them a warm Capitol welcome and help educate them on how things work down here."

GOP aides stress the lawmakers who booed were joking, which is common in the sometimes unruly House chamber. Either way, the reception probably offers a lesson for the students on how things "work" in partisan Richmond this year.

By Tim Craig  |  February 1, 2008; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Comments

That's despicable. It would be one thing for the Speaker to crack is ever present, not so funny, joke about a group that obviously has no warm feelings for him. But it is quite another for our state leaders to boo a group of high school students who act on their passionate beliefs, not to mention took time to learn more about the process by visiting Richmond.

Those who were booing should be ashamed of themselves. I know I am.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Is there any video of this outrage? I would love to identify these morons.

Posted by: Timothy Watson | February 1, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

One more example of why Virginia is rapidly becoming a "blue" state.

Posted by: John | February 1, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

If the students' high school peers "joked" this way during a school assembly, they would undoubtedly be disciplined. What an embarrassment for the adults in the chamber.

There's clearly a fringe within the GOP who feel themselves to be above the rules that govern everyone else, and they are not even ashamed to say so. Witness the new 527 recently profiled by the Post, whose founder boasted that "there's no limit to what we might do."

Be warned.

Posted by: David Weintraub | February 1, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think that it was harmless fun. Just watch C-SPAN and listen to the interaction between the Members of England's House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions time. They manage to survive though.

However, I'm more inclined to believe that Mr. Weintraub is correct. The Spirits of Lee Atwater and Grover Norquist still prevail in too many elected GOP officials.

Posted by: NoVA | February 1, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe we have gone this far right that students are booed in the state legislature.

Posted by: southern virginia | February 1, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"There's clearly a fringe within the GOP who feel themselves to be above the rules that govern everyone else, and they are not even ashamed to say so."

It's not a fringe, it's the whole GOP.

This is what the GOP thinks of you, America.

Posted by: BBB | February 1, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the delegate's mothers were impressed with their behavior. Just goes to show you can take the GOPosse member outta the Young Republicans but you can't take the YR outta the *compassionate conservative.*

Posted by: nosmokes | February 1, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

who gives a flying fukc?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

everyone should boo these young future VT targets

Posted by: Anonymous | February 3, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes. The Virginia GOP. You've got to love their class. They are terriffic examples for today's VA youth.

Posted by: Blueman1 | February 4, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

so are these kids trying to get into Virginia Tech? or do they not want to die?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The Charlottesville Young Liberals, of which I am a member, were visiting Richmond along with some 400 other people for Pro-Choice Lobby Day. Perhaps a dozen of the people made it into the gallery and were recognized from the floor of the House; the rest of us, around 40 from CHS and AHS, watched from viewing rooms on a lower floor.
We visit the capital every year through Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge to meet with our legislators, attend meetings about proposed legislation, and sit in on committees debating issues of abortion, contraception, or sex education. Throughout the year, we do phone-bankings, mailings, and other volunteer work for selected candidates. In 2005, through the Young Libs, I worked on Kaine's campaign, and in 2006 on Jim Webb's.

Posted by: younglib | February 4, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Sad. Cost them a vote.

Posted by: Mark | February 6, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Shame on those who booed. What example are they setting for these young people? The immaturity of these so-called law makers is sickening. Makes you almost want to get rid of your FREEDOM Fries!

Posted by: Anthony Fasolo | February 17, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

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