Dick Black (politician)
|Member of the Virginia Senate|
from the 13th district
|Assumed office |
January 11, 2012
|Preceded by||Fred Quayle|
|Succeeded by||John Bell (elect)|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 32nd district
February 5, 1998 – January 3, 2006
|Preceded by||Bill Mims|
|Succeeded by||David Poisson|
Richard Hayden Black
May 15, 1944
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Jean Hale|
|Alma mater||University of Florida (B.S., J.D.)|
U.S. Army War College
|Committees||Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, General Laws and Technology, Education and Health, Rehabilitation and Social Services|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
United States Army
|Years of service||1963–1970 (USMC)|
Richard Hayden Black (born May 15, 1944) is a Republican member of the Virginia State Senate. Black has represented the 13th District, encompassing parts of both Loudoun and Prince Williams Counties, since 2012. Black was previously a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2006. Black has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2019, instead retiring at the end of his term.
Black was born in northern Virginia in 1944 and grew up in Miami as the middle of three children. His father was an IRS agent who helped investigate organized crime. Black's first job was working at the Miami Serpentarium, importing cobras, vipers and other venomous snakes, and preparing them for transport to zoos throughout the world. He graduated from high school in 1962 and studied at the University of Miami for a year before enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Black was a career military officer. He served in both the U.S. Marines and in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. He served a total of 31 years active and reserve, rising from the rank of private to full colonel. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and Naval Aviator's Flight School.
Black enlisted in the Marines in 1963 at the age of 19. He graduated from Parris Island as a PFC and entered the Marine Aviation Cadet Program at Naval Air Station Pensacola. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in 1965.
From 11 February to 17 June 1967, he served as Forward Air Controller for the 1st Marine Regiment, making 70 combat patrols in the jungle. He engaged in intense combat around Nui Loc Son in April 1967. He received the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" for valor, while serving as Forward Air Controller for 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. Lt. Black volunteered to join Fox Company, 1st Marines, which held the ridgeline at Nui Loc Son—an extremely dangerous and remote outpost in the Que Son Valley.
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps
After the war, he left the service and earned a law degree, returning to military service as a prosecutor with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Black later headed the Army's Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, before retiring from the military in 1994.
In 1996, Dick Black was practicing military law in Northern Virginia. In an interview with The Washington Times, Black said despite evidence that mixed gender training leads to sexual misconduct, the Pentagon will not revert to same-sex assignments between instructors and recruits. Black said doing so "would be inconsistent with this tremendous drive to feminize the military today, to pretend there is no difference between the sexes."
Black first held elective office on the Loudoun County Library Board, where in 1997 he authored a policy that blocked pornography on library computers. The policy drew national attention and First Amendment litigation struck down the policy.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2003 in US v. American Library Association that public libraries' use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons' First Amendment rights. Today Loudoun County Public libraries do contain internet filters, but allow adult patrons to turn them off provided they read and sign the LCPL Adult Internet Use Agreement to register to use the Internet, and by doing so agree to comply with library policies and guidelines which prohibit the viewing of pornographic materials.
Virginia House of Delegates
Black was first elected to the Virginia House in a special election in 1998 to succeed Republican Delegate Bill Mims, who had been elected to the Virginia Senate. Black resigned from the Library Board a few months after being sworn-in. A "deeply conservative" delegate, Black became well known for making controversial statements.
In 2001, Black sponsored a bill to require internet filters on the computers in public schools. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate and was signed into law in March, 2001.
During the 2001 Legislative session, Black dealt with a number of abortion related bills. In February 2001, he co-sponsored a bill to establish a 24-hour "informed consent" waiting period for women seeking an abortion. The bill required a clinic or hospital to tell a woman seeking an abortion the approximate age of the fetus, details of the abortion procedure and other options available to her. The bill eventually passed and was signed into law.
Also during the 2001 session, Black opposed a bill that would allow the "morning-after pill" to be dispensed at pharmacies. Opponents of the bill said that, unlike normal contraceptives that prevent the fertilization of an egg, these types of emergency contraceptives can act as an abortifacient, preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall. "This is a baby pesticide we're looking at. It's a toxic method of eliminating a child," said Black. Although the bill failed to become law, the morning-after pill can be purchased in Virginia from pharmacies without a prescription by people ages 17 or older and with a prescription for those 16 and younger, and one brand is available over-the-counter for people of all ages without ID.
Route 28 Corridor Improvements
During the 2002 Session, Black successfully passed HB 735 – Transportation Improvement Districts. The bill was designed to allow property along the Route 28 corridor to be included in multiple special tax districts. This was necessary because some of the property was already in an existing special tax district and the landowners along Route 28 were looking to create a new transportation improvement district to change this major corridor into a high speed freeway.
In late 2002 and early 2003, Black opposed erecting a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Thomas at the Tredegar Iron Works to commemorate Lincoln's visit to Richmond on April 4, 1865, 10 days before his assassination. Black said, "Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial."
In July 2003, Black proposed legislation that would prevent unmarried and gay couples from applying for low-interest home mortgages, saying that the state was "spending $90 million to subsidize sodomy and adultery. I just don't understand why we are taking money away [from worthwhile programs] and supporting a radical homosexual agenda."
Also in 2003, delivered plastic fetus dolls to fellow delegates and senators. Black used the dolls to generate publicity for his bill requiring Parental consent for a minor to get an abortion. Black's bill, HB 1402, passed and was signed into law.
In February 2005, he urged his constituents to picket Stone Bridge High School for putting on a play about a gay football player, claiming that the school was "being used to promote a homosexual lifestyle." He further claimed that attempts to "encourage homosexual activity, to portray it in a cute or favorable light" could lead to children contracting HIV. In 2004, he said with regard to Virginia's sodomy law: "If I'm the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy, I'll do it."
During his time in the Virginia House of Delegates, Black was also involved with advocating for clemency on behalf of Ollin Crawford. Crawford, known as the "grenade lady," was serving a 70-year sentence after she committed a series of robberies where she claimed to have a grenade stuffed into a sock. No one was injured in any of the four robberies. Because the Dept. of Corrections classified Crawford as a "three-time loser," she was ineligible for parole.
Black's interest in the case came from what he felt was a discrepancy in the way Crawford was treated and a similar case where Sue Kennon, a suburban housewife, committed four armed robberies with a toy pistol. Kennon was granted parole in 2001 after serving 14 years of a 48-year sentence. In pointing out the similarities of the case, but the difference in outcome, Black said. “I don't believe there was deliberate discrimination, but reasonable people might ask why a poor black woman hasn't received the same consideration as an affluent white woman. We do know that two women with very similar cases received vastly different treatment.”
Black advocated on Crawford's behalf for 10 years, starting in 1997. He requested clemency for Crawford from three different Virginia Governors, including George Allen (American politician) and Mark Warner. Finally, Tim Kaine granted clemency and Crawford was released in early 2008.
Black was defeated in his quest for a fifth term by Democrat David Poisson in 2005. Poisson defeated him 53%–47%. Black ran for the Republican nomination in the special election for Virginia's 1st congressional district in October 2007. A convention was held to determine the nominee and Black came fifth eliminated in the fourth ballot. State Delegate Rob Wittman was picked and went on to win the election.
Black ran for the State Senate in 2011 in the newly-created 13th district, which encompasses nearly half of Loudoun County and a portion of Prince William County. His former home had been in another portion of Loudoun County represented in the State Senate by Democrat Mark Herring. Black won a hard-fought three-way primary, taking 3,143 votes (38.83%) to John Stirrup's 3,029 votes (37.42%) and Robert S. Fitzsimmonds' 1,923 votes (23.76%). In the general election, Black handily defeated Democrat Shawn Mitchell by 57% to 43%.
In an interview in December 2013, Black compared same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest, saying that although he opposed polygamy, "at least it functions biologically", adding that it was "just more natural" than homosexuality.
In 2014, Black briefly ran for Virginia's 10th congressional district in the 2014 elections to succeed retiring Republican incumbent Frank Wolf. He withdrew on January 23, two days after declaring his candidacy, saying: "after meeting with Republican Caucus leaders in Richmond, it is imperative that I remain in the Senate where I am needed to maintain our 20/20 split." Although the Virginia Senate was split 20/20, Democrats held the majority as Ralph Northam, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, cast tie-breaking votes.
In April 2014, Black sent an official letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thanking "the Syrian Arab Army for its heroic rescue of Christians in the Qalamoun Mountain Range", praising Assad for "treating with respect all Christians and the small community of Jews in Damascus," and stating it was obvious that the rebel side of the war was largely being fought by "vicious war criminals linked to Al Qaeda"  Democratic State Senator A. Donald McEachin called the letter "bizarre," while Republican State Senator Bill Stanley later joked "What's the matter, Dick? Was Kim Jong-un not returning your text messages?".
In 2015 Islamic State included Black in a list of its enemies, calling him "The American Crusader." It quoted the following statement by Black: "One thing is clear, if Damascus falls, the dreaded black and white flag of ISIS will fly over Damascus. ... Within a period of months after the fall of Damascus, Jordan will fall and Lebanon will fall. ... I think you will automatically see a beginning of a historic push of Islam towards Europe and I think, ultimately, Europe will be conquered."
On April 27, 2016, Black began a three-day trip to Syria in support of its government. Explaining his trip in a series of Twitter exchanges with The Washington Post, Black wrote that the United States was "allied with two of the most vile nations on earth, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which are intent on imposing a [Wahhabi] fundamentalist government on the Syrian people."
In 2018, Black appeared on an Arab TV channel where he claimed without evidence that the British intelligence service, MI6, was planning a false flag chemical attack on Syria, which it would then blame on the Assad regime.
Black introduced a budget amendment to the General Assembly to prohibit Medicaid expansion without the legislature's approval. He led a conservative revolt against Medicaid expansion that inspired the Twitter hashtag #BlackorBust. After a full day of heated back-door debates, Black prevailed and the Senate approved a budget without Medicaid expansion, which was Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe's signature issue. McAuliffe vowed not to sign a budget without it.
On June 20, 2014, McAuliffe announced he would veto the Black or Bust amendment. But his attempted veto of the Black or Bust Medicaid Amendment failed when his veto was ruled unlawful by the Speaker.
- "Dick Black's Bio". Dick Black Web Site. Archived from the original on 2015-01-09. Retrieved Jan 9, 2015.
- Nakamura, David (December 25, 1997). "Declaring War on Pornography". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "Not so Black and White: The Dick Black You Might Not Know". The Loudoun Tribune. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- "Senate of Virginia – Bio". Senate of Virginia. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- Scarborough, Rowan (November 9, 1996). "Sex `Inevitable' in GI Training Camps: Female Recruits, Male Instructors Seen as Explosive Mix". The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Retrieved 10 January 2015 – via Questia Online Library.
- David Nakamura; Jacqueline L. Salmon (October 22, 1997). "Internet Curbed in Loudoun; Library Board to Block Sexual Material". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Dana Hedgpeth (April 22, 1999). "Libraries Abandon Court Fight; Board Won't Appeal Internet Policy Rulings". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Dana Hedgpeth (April 25, 1999). "Black, Library Board Spar on Internet Issue". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "United States v. American Library Association". June 23, 2003. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Loudoun County Public Library "Public Internet Workstations Guidelines For Use", retrieved January 8, 2015
- Peter Pae; David Nakamura (January 8, 1998). "Library Board Member Has Designs on Delegate's Seat". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Supporter of Internet Restrictions Resigns From Library Board". The Washington Post. April 16, 1998. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Helderman, Rosalind S. (October 9, 2010). "Former Loudoun delegate confirms run for state Senate". Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- Ben Pershing (January 6, 2014). "Race to succeed Frank Wolf in Congress could feature sharp Republican divide". Washington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Virginia Legislative Bill Tracking – HB1691 – 2001 General Assembly Session". Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- "Virginia Legislative Bill Tracking – HB2570 – 2001 General Assembly Session". Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "Abortion waiting time advances in Virginia". Washington Times. February 1, 2001. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Virginia Legislative Bill Tracking – HB2782 – 2001 General Assembly Session". Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "Emergency Contraception in Virginia". NARAL. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "Virginia Legislative Bill Tracking – HB735 – 2002 General Assembly Session". Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "Another Rebel Stand". Washington Post. January 9, 2003. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Conservatives to target relaxed mortgage rules". Washington Times. July 30, 2003. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- David Sherfinski (August 9, 2011). "Black moves residence in bid to return to Richmond". Washington Times. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Hugh Lessing and Terry Scanlon (December 28, 2003). "Political Highs Were Hard to Find in '03". Daily Press. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "Virginia Legislative Bill Tracking – HB1402 – 2003 General Assembly Session". Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- "Gay-Themed High School Play Sparks Va. Protests". Washington Post. February 9, 2005. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Gay issues top debate in Va". Gay & Lesbian Times. January 8, 2004. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Virginia Officials Rally to Free Felon". The Washington Tribune. August 3, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- Frank Green (March 19, 2008). "Pardon in 'three-time lose' case". The Washington Tribune. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "VA District 01 – Special R Convention". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "VA State Senate 13 – R Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "VA State Senate 13". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- "Social issues likely to take back seat in". northernvatimes.com. January 2014. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Carey, Julie (January 8, 2014). "Loudoun Co. Official Enters Race for Wolf's Seat". NBC Washington. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- Ben Pershing (January 23, 2014). "Dick Black makes surprise decision to drop out of race to replace Frank Wolf in Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- Smith, Max (2019-01-02). "Virginia Sen. Black won't run for re-election". WTOP. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- "رئاســة الجمهوريــة العربيــة السوريــة". Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic - Timeline Photos. May 26, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- "Bashar al-Assad posts a letter of support from a Virginia state senator". The Washington Post. May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
- "Officials react to Va. state senator's letter to Syrian president". WUSA9. May 28, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "Schapiro: For Dick Black, issues are black or white". Richmond Times-Dispatch. May 29, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Loudoun's Sen. Black listed as 'enemy' by ISIS, along with Rick Santorum". The Washington Post. March 31, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
- "Outspoken Virginia state senator travels to Syria in support of Assad". The Washington Post. April 27, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Va. state senator who met with Assad says British are planning fake chemical attack". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "US senator claims Britain's MI6 is planning a fake chemical weapons attack on Syria". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Grassroots Activism Scores Win on Medicaid Expansion".
- "After hours of strife, lawmakers pass budget without Medicaid expansion".
- "Virginia lawmakers finalize budget, averting a shutdown as GOP thwarts McAuliffe veto".
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