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Virginia GOP senatorial candidate: Desegregation ‘was the beginning of the decline’ for schools

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A Republican candidate for the Virginia state Senate was back-pedaling on Thursday following remarks that suggested he thought the integration of the state’s schools hurt the quality of education, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported.

“I’m old enough to have lived during the desegregation of the schools here locally,” Wayne Coleman said in an interview on The John Fredericks Show on Monday. “And busing children, in my opinion, around the different districts, getting them out of their local neighborhoods, really was the beginning of the decline in some of the school districts.”

Coleman, who is running to represent the state’s 6th District argued that state and federal officials should delegate more responsibility to local districts.

“What’s troubling Norfolk is not the same fix that’s going to help the Northampton schools, and Accomack, and over in Mathews,” he told Fredericks. “Although their school systems are better, they still face problems.”

On Wednesday, however, Coleman said in a statement that opponents were seizing on an opportunity to “misconstrue and mischaracterize” his statement.

“My point was – and remains – that schools that are closest to the families they serve are schools that have the greatest level of accountability,” his statement read. “Our schools can only provide the promise of achievement for our children if they have the direct accountability to parents that comes with community and neighborhood involvement.”

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Virginia resisted the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education striking down school segregation for years, with state lawmakers and then-Gov. Lindsay Almond enacting a policy of “massive resistance,” including the closure of schools ordered to integrate under the ruling, creating another “separate but equal” system in which white students were steered toward private institutions, while Black students were shut out and forced to rely on either “volunteer” schools or moving to different communities.

But even though the passage of the Civil Rights Act 10 years after Brown led to a steady rise in integration, a March 2013 study by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California-Los Angeles found that “significant and rising shares of Virginia’s black students enroll in segregated schools that are intensely isolated by race and poverty.”

Listen to audio of Coleman’s statement on desegregation, as posted on Thursday, below.

[Image via Wayne Coleman campaign Facebook page]

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Hatch Act hearing erupts in chaos as House Republicans fume over threat to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

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A House Oversight Committee hearing erupted in chaos after Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) angrily defended Kellyanne Conway from allegations that she broke federal law by advocating for GOP candidates during TV appearances.

The independent Office of Special Counsel sent the Trump administration a letter earlier this month detailing Conway's "numerous violations" of the Hatch Act, which forbids most executive branch employees from using their positions for political advocacy, and recommended her firing by the White House.

"Mr. Chairman, this subpoena, one, is not necessary," Meadows told committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD). "Quite frankly it is not following the law. I can tell you that what we have here is a political spectacle. We're talking about keeping politics out of government. This subpoena is nothing more than a political spectacle. We are better than this, Mr. Chairman."

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GOP’s Jim Jordan gets shut down after raging at Trump appointee who called for Kellyanne Conway’s firing

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday got absolutely shut down by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) after he interrupted the testimony of Henry Kerner, whom President Donald Trump appointed to lead the Office of Special Counsel.

During his opening statement ahead of Kerner's testimony, Jordan bitterly complained about the way conservatives are purportedly "censored" on social media and he said Kerner's recommendation that Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway be removed from office for repeated Hatch Act violations was an effort to "silence" an effective surrogate for President Donald Trump.

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Trump attacks his own Fed chairman in unhinged Fox interview: ‘Nobody ever heard of him before — I made him!’

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President Donald Trump bitterly attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for refusing to cut interest rates during an interview with Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo.

When asked about the state of the economy, Trump claimed that the economy is doing terrific but he said that Powell should nonetheless aggressively pump money into the economy via rate cuts.

"We should have [European Central Bank President Mario] Draghi instead of our Fed person!" the president said. "We have a man who doesn't do anything for us!"

Bartiromo then noted that Powell has made a point of preserving the Federal Reserve's political independence by refusing to obey the president's orders to lower rates, but Trump replied that Powell should just do what he's told.

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