The T-Room will be offering a suite of services to those interested in following the business of the Virginia General Assembly. We will be offering audio and/or video recording of legislative committee meetings and retreats, key commission and state board meetings. In addition, we will be posting one-on-one interviews with state officials, community leaders and members of the legislature to capture in one location a concise narrative of the issue du jour. More often than not, the public tends to get pieces of a story and the T-Room aims to provide you with the full story, warts and all.
To provide our subscribers with timely uploads we will not be editing audio or video recordings. They will be uploaded as is.
When members are not in session the T-Room will provide a schedule on the Friday before the following week to let you know in advance the meetings the T-Room will be covering the following week. If you are a subscriber who would like the T-Room to cover a meeting that is not on the schedule just let us know via the blog or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the session, budget meetings will be the T-Room’s priority with committee and sub committee meetings following thereafter. As we grow, we will add more staff and equipment so as to eventually cover the business at the General Assembly and those conference committee meetings held in backrooms over at the Capitol.
It is important to note that all audio, video and interviews will not be available for download or embedding. All such features are disabled. On occasion, the T-Room will make available key committee meetings and/or interviews, but only after a 48 hour period allowing subscribers the opportunity to review the material first.
Understand, the T-Room is not in the business of embarrassing anyone or getting “I gotcha” footage. We’ll leave that to the political operatives and their campaigns. Our service is solely focused on covering the business conducted by Virginia’s elected officials, gubernatorial appointees and agency staff on behalf of Virginians.
If you have any questions, suggestions or tips you can email us at email@example.com
Advantages of Membership:
- Access to legislative committee meetings, budget meetings, key commission and state board meetings from the comfort of your office or home.
- Archival material readily available day or night.
- When members are out of session, the T-Room will provide a weekly schedule of meetings so you can plan your calendar accordingly.
- During session, the T-Room will provide a daily schedule of the meetings we will be covering the following day.
- Requests for meeting coverage by subscribers is welcomed.
- All recordings will be uploaded on the same day the meetings are held.
- Private blogging amongst peers with shared interests.
The following subscription fee’s are charged on a monthly basis. The T-Room is more than aware that most everyone will sign up at the Individual rate, but we ask that you honor our request that if you are a lobby firm, county or city office or corporation that you subscribe at the $25 a month level. We will be cross referencing all those who sign up with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Lobbying Disclosure list. If we learn you fall into the $25 category but signed up at the $10 level, we will suspend your account immediately. Thank you in advance for honoring our payment structure.
Individual (1 person only)
Lobby Firm, Non Profit, Corporate or Government
Corporate / Government
Remember, this is a monthly subscription fee. You may cancel your subscription at anytime. Thank you.
What is “live” blogging? A person documents the conversation at an event as it is unfolding. It is done in real time. Meaning, you read the stream of information within seconds of it happening. The blogger types “verbatim” what is being spoken and uploads the details every couple of minutes to The T–Room Live Blogging Suite for its Members.
What if the blogger doesn’t accurately hear the speaker?
At the end of each day a corrected transcript (if necessary) and an audio recording will be uploaded as a confirmation of transcribed events and as an added benefit for The T–Room Live Blogging Suite Members. Ear buds work great!
What if I want to comment on information that the Live Blog Suite is reporting on?
The T–Room Live Blog Suite is set up to allow Members to comment as you would with any typical blog. Remember, only Members can see your comments
Will my comments be shared with anyone other than Members of the T–Room’s Live Blogging Suite?
This great question gets to the heart of blogging! Absolutely not! Your privacy is important to us. Please note though that if you choose to use your real identity someone can copy and paste your comments elsewhere without your or our knowledge. We advise you to consider using a user name that is not associated with your real name if you wish to avoid having your comments go viral on the internet (sage wisdom here).
Why is The T–Room Live Blogging Suite focused only on Virginia’s State Budget?
The T–Room is all about truth, sunshine and transparency. The Proprietor of The T–Room is a long-time activist, lobbyist and political hack who grew weary of the political secrets and games…such a heavy load. Check out the About section to learn more about the Proprietor’s background. In her most humbled opinion she believes the Virginia Budget is the least transparent process ever encountered. This is where we feel comfortable starting, but we plan to grow this service into many other areas, because lots of sunshine needs to be cast in all kinds of hidden nooks and crannies of our state and local government.
So, why is the Virginia Budget important to me?
On November 3, 2009 more than 2,000,000 registered voters turned out to exercise their right to vote for Virginia’s Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and all 100 Members of the House of Delegates. We, the Virginian voter, decided who would represent us and our interests in Richmond.
The most serious concern facing Virginian’s today is unemployment. Members of the Virginia Legislature, those folks we elected, MUST eliminate over $4 BILLION over the biennium, 2010 -2012, from the budget in order to meet Virginia’s Constitution, which requires the State Legislature to present a “balanced” budget to the Governor to sign.
Virginia’s state government is the largest employer in the Commonwealth. Those elected officials we sent to Richmond are faced with the daunting task of “cutting into the bone” of state services which will directly affect Virginian’s who are employed by state and local government or receive a hefty share of the state’s resources such as K- 12, Higher Education, Natural Resources, etc. These good folks are our friends, family members and/or neighbors. They chose public service as their profession, and keeping them on the payroll is critical to the financial health and quality of life our great Commonwealth offers.
However, “cutting into the bone” = eliminating jobs. There is no way around it. That is, unless these brave state elected leaders decide to increase our taxes, which we already know is highly doubtful. They lack the fortitude and they want to get re-elected. Heaven forbid they debate spreading the pain across the board. Nope. There is only one place this train wreck is heading, the doorstep of our local government. And, there is only one place local officials can go and that’s increasing our property taxes. The smoke and mirror game played again and again by the state “budgeteers” will lead to a tax increase but only on those of us who were silly enough to buy a home, a farm, a condo, a townhouse. Makes you want to rent, doesn’t it!?!
Our county Board of Supervisors and City Council members will be faced with having to raise income to keep our friends, family member and neighbors employed, right? Righto! I mean K-12, Higher Ed and so many other services are critical to the quality of life we Virginian’s enjoy. Where do you think they are going to be able to raise that kind of income? You betcha! We the property owner will inevitably end up footing the bill, which by the way, WE can hardly afford. But that doesn’t matter b/c there is no other remedy, because there is nowhere to go beyond local government.
Gosh, I can’t help but wonder what a half a cent on the sales tax could raise. Nah! What am I thinking! Treasonous thought here!
My fellow Virginian’s, we sent these leaders to Richmond to make tough decisions at an extremely critical time in our history. Yet, the only way we, the citizen, can know how our legislators are truly representing us is by attending the committee meetings he/she is assigned. Do you have the time to travel to Richmond and sit in these budget meetings? Of course not and our representatives know it! That is why you have come to rely on your local newspaper or television network to inform you. Others pay professional lobbyists to keep them informed, while others simply don’t pay any attention at all.
Reconciling Virginia’s budget is the least transparent process amongst all legislation that comes before your state representative. After spending nearly ten-years working on budget issues, we know from where we speak.
In an effort to bring some transparency to Virginia’s budget process, The T–Room is launching real time live blogging from the legislative money committees at the Statehouse. This is a first and we will strive to build on it, BUT WE need YOU to become engaged.
The T–Room Live Blogging Suite is offered to Members from an unbiased, unfiltered and uneditorialized standpoint to all of the citizens of the Commonwealth. We will begin by offering live blogging of the following “money” committees:
- House Appropriations – Full committee
- Senate Finance – Full committee
- House – Counties, Cities and Towns
- Senate – Local Government
As The T–Room Live Blogging Suite builds its Membership, we will gladly add more committee meetings AND we will track the budget until the Governor signs it. Your membership will also help us hire some good folks who are currently out of work. The more we can make this project work for you the more folks we can hire.
The T–Room has kept Membership prices affordable. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in need of assistance with your membership.
Lastly, we welcome suggestions, requests and ideas to make this service work for you. Please, do not hesitate for a moment when contacting us. We want to hear from you, often, because, the more we can provide you with the facts the more informed you are AND the more informed you are the more informed you will be the next time you step into the voting booth.
From all of us here at The T-Room, we look forward to bringing greater sunshine to Virginia’s Budget process and to serving you.