The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Ongoing Scam

Editors Note: This is a reprint of an explanation concerning Hound Hunters so called Right To Retrieve.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Ongoing Scam

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is perpetrating a scam on rural landowners while breaching their constitutional rights, all for the benefit of dog hunters who contribute substantially to the Department’s budget. Every year DGIF and its law enforcement officers inform hunters and other members of the Commonwealth of the applicable law and regulations relating to hunting through personal contact and through its widely disseminated booklet, “Hunting and Trapping in Virginia.” With respect to a hunter’s right to enter prohibited lands to follow or retrieve dogs, DGIF breaks with its practice of describing the substance of the law and instead quotes the statutory language. The purpose of that break is to perpetrate a falsehood, and the statutory language makes it easy. In part, Va. Code § 18.2-136 reads: “[F]ox hunters and coon hunters may follow their dogs on prohibited lands” and “hunters of all other game . . . may go upon prohibited lands to retrieve their dogs.”

As DGIF well knows, both dog hunters and landowners take it to mean what it says: While following or retrieving their dogs, hunters are allowed to go upon private land over the objection of the landowners, and landowners are powerless to stop them. As a practical result, during each hunting season, droves of dog hunters enter and traverse prohibited lands throughout the Commonwealth over the objection of landowners.

But DGIF has a secret. It believes it is falsely representing the law regarding the Right-to-Retrieve to the public. In a suit I brought several years ago challenging the Right-to-Retrieve, Director Duncan, defended by the Attorney General, told the court that the popular, textual interpretation of § 18.2-136 is “unconstitutional” and leads to “absurd results.” He then clarified the meaning of the statute.

“While the text of the statute appears to grant certain hunters access to private property, its placement in the Virginia Code shows that it merely creates an exemption under Virginia’s criminal trespass laws. Consequently it does not create any right for any hunter or abrogate any right of a property owner.” [Emphasis added.]

Clear enough, but Director Duncan and the Attorney General were not through.

“[T]his statute does not confer any authority upon anyone. . . . [T]he statute at issue simply decriminalizes trespass for those hunters who enter private lands under the conditions set forth in the statute. As such, it does not create or terminate any private legal rights.” [Emphasis added.]

If § 18.2-136 does “not confer any authority upon” any dog hunters or “terminate any private legal rights” of landowners, hunters following or retrieving their dogs on prohibited private lands have the same legal status as other unauthorized persons who encroach – they are civil trespassers, and as such they may be excluded or expelled from prohibited lands by the landowner.

This is both stunning and bizarre! According to DGIF Director Duncan and the Attorney General, § 18.2-136, the “Right-to-Retrieve,” confers no right to retrieve but merely removes the criminal liability for trespass. A statute which expressly states that hunters “may go upon prohibited lands to retrieve their dogs” actually means the contrary — that they cannot go upon prohibited lands without the landowners’ consent. This statutory language is a deceit, and DGIF’s intentional and zealous advocacy of this deceit perpetrates a scam — a scam which not only causes rural landowners to suffer objectionable invasions of their property but also deprives them of a fundamental constitutional right — all for the benefit of dog hunters, a core constituency, which is politically well organized and which contributes substantial sums to DGIF’s annual budget.

Joel Polin

Why so many laws

I’m not a fan of laws. What we need are laws taken off of the books instead of the annual barrage of useless feel good bills that come every year. I’m certainly not in favor of gun laws, but they exist. Are they being fairly enforced? I don’t think so.

Speaking of laws, Joe Morrissey had 3 days to register as a sex offender with the State Police after he was released. As of this date, its unknown if he’s complied. Repeated calls to the State Police Registry usually result in no answer, sometimes voice mail and once in a blue moon, a human who tells you how busy and backlogged they are.

Recently I was following a facebook page dedicated to private transaction gun sales. That’s a right I strongly believe in,

One post is from a fellow whose profile says Mexico, but he claims to be an FFL out of Utah and is flying into the Richmond area with a batch of guns for sale. It would be illegal to sell in any state he isn’t licensed in anyway but this man is selling as an individual, not an FFL.

My first question was is that legal. He claims it is and gave the number for the State Police to confirm. I called it. The Sargent on duty had taken  a little break and the person answering the phone didn’t know.

The next day the seller claimed to have landed in Richmond and wanted to meet buyers somewhere between Tappahanock and Hanover. That’s mighty fishy so I called the State Police again to confirm. They gave me the number of the firearms transaction center, which isn’t staffed by police officers and said it wasn’t his job. He just did background checks.

Next I called ATF. They confirmed it was very illegal and sounded suspicious as in a setup for robbery as well.

So we have a lot of laws that are enforced on otherwise law abiding citizens, but not on blatant criminals. The State Police expended a tremendous amount of manpower and money at the State Fair keeping people with fish hook badges on their hats….yes, those pin on emblems…out for some reason, and using license plate scanners on every plate in the parking lot, but they don’t care about enforcing the gun laws on the books.

Why are we giving extra money for registrations this year that is going to the State Police just so they can do nothing but tag speeders more efficiently.

That’s a question we need to ask candidates running for office this year.


Against "haters of mankind"

Rand Paul can no worse than saying he will defend America against "haters of mankind."
But everyone knew he was against "haters of mankind."
He's a Republican, going against Democrats.

Rand the Brand

Senator Rand Paul is officially entering the GOP presidential sweepstakes today. That’s not really news (he’s been planning on a White House run since he took his Senate oath in 2010).

The real news is how his campaign is being marketed. This isn’t your traditional campaign (see the official site of Ted Cruz, for example). Rather, Paul is more like a pop-up store. And it’s the store on his website that’s getting all the notice today — so much so that’s it’s getting a bit balky.

If you can get the page to load, what do you find? Young people wearing Rand Brand gear. “Rand Fashion is cool,” says one of the slides. And a cool, young demographic is what this campaign is all about.

There are signs and magnets, of course. Plus shirts, socks, hoodies, “burnout” tees, and a sling backpack. There are blankets, beer koozies…stuff you can take tailgating or wear around the quad.

There are also Rand Brand floor mats for your car, a Rand iPhone case, a Rand skull cap (because nothing says “hipster douche” like one of those). And let’s not forget the Rand skins you can slap on your Beats headphones.

All reasonably priced and ready to move — because Rand is cool and you want to be too.

What’s his tag line again? Something about taking on the Washington establishment.

But that’s got nothing on the Rand bag toss game, the Rand flip flops or, what is sure to be THE ITEM: the “NSA Spy Cam Blocker”:

That little front facing camera on your laptop or tablet can be a window for the world to see you – whether you know it or not! Stop hackers and the NSA with this simple camera blocker. Safe and practical.

It’s essentially a sticker — with a big “RAND” on it. Cute, and only $15.

Forget the ideas and put down those position papers. Rand is a brand. A cool one. And it will be wildly entertaining to watch which version of Rand Paul gets more traction — the label or the pol.

UPDATE: Mark Herring Backs Obama Executive Orders on Immigration

herringHere we go.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has decided to throw in with President Obama and 14 other states attorney general backing up the legality of Obama’s executive orders on immigration:

The president’s plan, which would defer the deportations of as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, has been blocked by a U.S. district judge in Texas while a lawsuit filed against it by 26 states goes forward. The brief filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit supports the administration’s appeal of the judge’s decision. Rather than harming states, as opponents contend, the program will help them by bringing many immigrants into the legal economy, supporters say.

. . .

Republicans have said that Herring is abusing his office to champion liberal causes in preparation for a 2017 gubernatorial campaign. The attorney general has countered that he is merely making the legal findings his job requires.

Which is what this is about at the end of the day, and it’s not fair in the slightest.  In fact, it reinforces a growing narrative concerning progressives in power — that they will use any means to advance their agenda; legal or otherwise.

Speaker Boehner was right from the beginning of this debate.  If Obama (and by extension, Herring) wants to discuss registering undocumented immigrants by offering visas and work permits, there’s a constitutional process for that.  Draft a law, have it go through both houses of the legislature after a healthy public debate, and then have it duly signed by the president.

Ruling by executive fiat?  Dishonorable to say the least.

Cracking the legislative process by going through the courts system?  That’s simply not American, and it’s certainly not a path towards any true immigration reform.

Most honest observers can see through this for what it is… a political ploy.  Herring’s nosedive into judicial activism — whether it’s on immigration or marriage — simply doesn’t live up to the democratic process.  In fact, it’s the polar opposite… and causal observers should react with more than skepticism, but rather a cautious and growing derision.

This isn’t the way forward.

UPDATE:  Virginia Delegate Chris Peace fires back against Mark Herring:

“One of your many duties includes defending the rights and interests of the citizens of Virginia as enumerated in the Federal and State Constitutions. While you have not always chosen to do so as regards hyper-partisan policies, the President’s recent actions present another important opportunity for you to defend the Commonwealth’s interests. Maintaining and preserving a system of laws and the separation of powers which flows from the Constitution requires your immediate attention. I encourage you to join numerous states in defending our Constitution that you swore an oath to uphold.”

Not exactly an argument that won the day when Herring picked up his briefcase and argued against Virginia’s constitution on marriage… but an argument worth reminding folks about.  Hopefully it becomes an issue in the 2017 AG race.

You can read Delegate Peace’s full letter here.

UDPATE x2:  Virginia State Senate candidate Vince Haley gets in on the action as well:

“I strongly oppose AG Mark Herring’s decision to join 14 other states in defense of President Obama’s illegal amnesty plan before the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals. By doing so, he is supporting an Obama administration that, among other things, is arguing in Federal Courts that States are required to issue driver’s licenses to people illegally residing in those States, even if a state has a law prohibiting such practices, as we do in Virginia.”

“Unlike Mark Herring, I will be a vocal and tireless defender of Virginia law as a State Senator. With his action, Mark Herring supports the principle that a President of the United States can unilaterally change Virginia law.  I disagree and will vote accordingly in the Virginia Senate. As a State Senator, I will side with the people of the 12th District and Virginia as opposed to siding with the Obama Administration and Washington, D.C.”

I’ll wheedle a little bit on whether or not this is amnesty — unless citizenship is being expanded, it’s not — but I’ll wholeheartedly agree that Haley hammers the point home on federal overstretch as well as unlawful executive orders… and Haley gets it when it comes to the 10th Amendment.

Vince Haley is coming off of a recent endorsement from Middle Resolution, so his campaign is in the middle of a big week.  Haley is running against former Delegate Bill Janis and Siobhan Stolle-Dunnavant in SEN-12.

May the State compel you?

Sarah Hoyt provides a list of questions.
Emphasis on May, not Can.
The questions provide the battlefields we've been through, and those to come.

He’ll be gone and we’ll still be there

Smitty notes how Samuel L. Jackson assumes racism on the part of the Tea Party.
Because, obviously, the Tea Party is only against President Obama because of his race.
January 21, 2017 and on are times to prove him wrong.
Barack Obama will leave office.
The Tea Party will continue it's political quest - unfortunately with eight years of debt and bad decision to fight.

Love thy neighbor…or else


On this podcast edition of “The Score” radio show…

Scott Lee dives into Gov. McAuliffe’s pitch to Indiana companies, asking them to leave the Midwest and relocate to Virginia — all because of Indiana’s passage of an RFRA. Scott wonders whether the Governor has a keen grip on the idea of discrimination, not to mention force. And let’s not forget Virginia’s long, long history of supporting religious freedom. But that’s inconvenient to the developing narrative. Scott also takes to the phones to hear what the people think about tolerance, discrimination, and force.

Plus, the EPA is determined to kill jobs in Virginia, Jim Hoeft talks with Generation Opportunity’s Jeff Scully about criminal justice reform (from the podcast earlier in the week), and Scott’s Easter message.

“The Score” is syndicated across Virginia and can be heard on WLEE 990 AM in Richmond, WLNI 105.9 FM in Lynchburg, and WINC 1400 AM in Winchester. “The Score” is also a proud member of the digital Red State Talk Radio Network, and can also be heard on its broadcast affiliates. And coming soon — RedState’s own Roku channel (more on that as it develops)…because you’ve always wanted to hear Scott Lee on your TV.

“The Score” can always be heard on demand at Bearing Drift. Or you can take the show with you wherever you go through iTunes.

Virginian-Pilot accomplishes goals of convicted extortionist

Convicted extortionist Christopher Burruss will spend at least some of his two years in prison smiling, thanks to Patrick Wilson of the Virginian-Pilot.

Thanks to Wilson, the extortionist accomplished his goals.

Burruss was sentenced last week for demanding $20,000 from Sen. Tommy Norment or else embarrassing emails would be given to the press to publish. He didn’t get the cash.

Sen. Norment instead called the FBI. Not Burruss’ first time hearing “guilty” in a courtroom either. He also has convictions for DUI and eluding police. He filed bar complaints about Norment that went nowhere. Then he tried extortion, and that landed him back in jail.

So, what does the Pilot do?

The Virginian-Pilot carries out Burruss’ threat and publishes the material!

Patrick Wilson of the Pilot took Burruss’ “embarrassing information” about Norment, the information used to try to extort $20,000 from Norment, and prints it in the newspaper – just like the extortionist wanted!

Aiding and Abetting a federal crime ex post facto? Accessory to extortion? I’m not a lawyer, but seeing a reporter coddle up with criminal sources and fulfill their criminal threats for them isn’t exactly what they teach in journalism classes.

What’s going on at the Pilot?

Patrick Wilson is the latest Richmond-based reporter for the Pilot, taking over for Julian Walker. Two Republican Senators targeted in four days in the midst of Senatorial elections that are the #1 focus of Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe.


Maybe. But I wouldn’t want to share a double byline with an imprisoned extortionist, would you?

Not the kind of writing that encourages returning phone calls.

Terror in Kenya

Are you worried about possible mild inconvenience in Indiana?
Or wholesale slaughter in Kenya?

Virginia Spotlight