(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) In a move labeled as leftist vindictiveness and partisan spite, Virginia Democrats have yanked three highly qualified Republican members from three of the state’s highest-profile governance boards.
The coup saw Democrats last week block Gov. Glenn Youngkin-appointee Suparna Dutta from the state board of education, as well as a pro-law enforcement member from the state parole board. Democrats also blocked the appointment of state Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Greene.
“In an appalling show of partisanship, today Senate Democrats attacked the integrity of three highly qualified members of my administration,” Youngkin wrote in a statement last week.
Dutta was given the boot after she had the audacity to defend proposed changes to history and social science standards in Virginia public schools. Those changes include alleged radical standards such as the “Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are remarkable documents” and that socialism and communism are “incompatible with democracy and individual freedoms,” reported Fox News.
“I think socialism is just about as bad as communism,” Dutta said. “It co-opts the important decisions belonging to families and individuals.”
Democrat lawmakers disagreed and voted to block her appointment to the board of education, a move that Youngkin called “shameful”.
“She is a mother and advocate for parents’ rights, she is an immigrant and an advocate for Asian American rights, she is an engineer and advocate for STEM in education,” Youngkin wrote about Dutta. “She is not only qualified, she epitomizes parental involvement in our schools and we need her voice on our Board of Education.”
Youngkin offered similar praise for Steven Buck, who Democrats removed from the parole board, as “a career prosecutor who has put criminals away at the local level and investigated fraud for the Attorney General’s office.” The governor suggested the move was in direct retaliation for Buck’s work “exposing Adrianne Bennett’s criminal misconduct.”
Buck contributed to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’s blistering report of the state’s “parole-granting frenzy” during the pandemic, which Miyares called “the epitome of putting criminals first and victims last,” according to NBC’s WSLS. The report alleged former Virginia Parole Board chair Adrianne Bennett violated court orders, policies and procedures and falsified discharge records.
For Buck’s work to uncover 137 murderers, rapists and armed robbers who were released in violation of long-standing rules, Democrats removed him from the parole board.
Likewise, Democrats blocked the appointment of Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Greene, after she claimed there was no “compelling” evidence of racism’s alleged impact of infant and maternal mortality rates, according to WRIC.
“Democrats are repeating loudly their clear beliefs: parents don’t matter, criminals first victims last, and petty politics above Virginia’s best interests,” Youngkin wrote. “It’s shameful. Virginians deserve so much better.”
Virginia Senate Democrats are expected to block any moves by state House Republicans to have the three appointees confirmed.