WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Michael Pope

Reporter

Pope is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for WAMU, Connection Newspapers, the New York Daily News and the Tallahassee Democrat. A native of Moultrie, Ga., he grew up in Durham, N.C., and graduated high school in Tampa, Fla. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Pope is the author of Shotgun Justice (2012), Hidden History of Alexandria, D.C. (2011) and Ghosts of Alexandria (2010), all published by History Press in Charleston, S.C.


Articles Written by Michael Pope

WAMU 88.5
As lawmakers were getting ready to come to Richmond for the General Assembly session, Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-17) of Spotsylvania was concerned. He wanted to figure out some way of overturning Attorney General Mark Herring's controversial executive action declaring Vir...
WAMU 88.5
Forty years ago, when development was booming in Fairfax County, government leaders at the Massey Building had an idea: Create a system to make demands on builders so they would have to pay for traffic improvements and sewer upgrades. Over time, though, that system expanded and developers started offering things themselves, such as providing computers to local schools or forking over ...
WAMU 88.5
Should Virginia's right-to-work law become part of the state constitution? Republicans in the General Assembly think so, but voters will get the final say this November, when the issue will be on the ballot in key 2016 swing state. It's a story that dates back to 1947, when Congress adopted the Taft-Hartley Act. The Virginia General Assembly responded by passing its right-to...
WAMU 88.5
In the days since Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw outlined a deal he crafted behind the scenes so two of Virginia's most prominent car-title lenders could avoid a regulatory crackdown, members of the House of Delegates have been considering their next move. At first, it looked li...
WAMU 88.5
When Attorney General Mark Herring issued an executive order declaring that Virginia would no longer accept concealed carry permits from 25 states, Democrats suddenly gained leverage in a debate that often ends in a stalemate. ​"The gun rights people said let's try to work out something that deals with the reciprocity issue, because that's a big issue for them, in exchang...
WAMU 88.5
Members of Virginia's General Assembly are about to consider a proposal that could radically change how public school students are educated in Virginia. At issue is an amendment to the state Constitution to make it much easier to create charter schools — and the measure is expected to take its second big step forward. Right now, there's only one way for charter schools to...
WAMU 88.5
Two days after Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw outlined a deal he brokered with two car-title lenders that would allow the industry to avoid a regulatory crackdown, several key details have yet to be worked out. One is that the agreement didn’t include all businesses that have permission to offer more than one kind of loan, a ...
WAMU 88.5
Will Justice Jane Roush remain on the Virginia Supreme Court this year? Or will she be forced off the bench by Republicans, who say Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe failed to consult them? That's an open question, and both sides are preparing for a dramatic partisan showdown. Republicans in the House have a candidate for the job, Judge Rossie Alston. But Democrats in the Sena...
WAMU 88.5
As members of the Virginia state Senate prepared to crack down on an industry many say is predatory, two of the state's car-title lenders are promising to stop using a loophole in the law that allows them to charge unlimited interest and drag out loans for more than a year. Members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee say that's good enough for them, killing several efforts that...
WAMU 88.5
Last year, Attorney General Mark Herring gave school boards the authority to include sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discrimination policies last year. Members of the Fairfax County School Board decided to do just that, saying students should be able to use the...
WAMU 88.5
What's the best way to kill an idea in politics? Call it a tax. That's how the Virginia Hospital Association helped defeat a proposal a generation ago. The association opposed a plan that would help fund care for people without health insurance by charging fees on hospitals. Part of the strategy was to kill the bill with a clever use of language. They called it a "sick tax."...
WAMU 88.5
The party-line vote to revoke floor access to the Virginia State Senate overturns a long tradition in the commonwealth, a place where tradition usually has currency. Members of the media have had access to the Senate floor since the new chamber opened for business in 1906. “Tw...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia has a terrible record when it comes to transparency. The state got a failing grade for public access for information from the Center for Public Integrity last year. So lawmakers are considering a number of bills to make the government more transparen...
WAMU 88.5
Democratic Senate Caucus Chairman Donald McEachin (D-9) confronted Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment on the floor of the Senate Tuesday, decrying what he called a "baldfaced lie" about the willingness of Democrats to vote on a motion to restore press access to the Senate floor....
WAMU 88.5
The Republican-led Virginia General Assembly previously has resisted efforts to overhaul the car-title lending industry, but this year appears to be different. Fresh scrutiny — including a WAMU investigative series — has prompted members of both parties to offer legislation intended to protect borrowers and bring more of the i...
WAMU 88.5
Familiar "Guns Save Lives" stickers were on display all around Capitol Square in Richmond Monday for an annual ritual known as Gun Lobby Day. But so were stickers with another perspective: "Background Checks Save Lives." This year, one thing is different on Gun Lobby Day: the presence of Andy and Barbara Parker. They are the parents of the WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, who w...
WAMU 88.5
When should the Virginia state Senate gavel into session? It seems like a simple question. But the Senate's two major players are bitterly divided over the answer. At the end of Friday's session, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he would no longer wait around for all the senators to arrive before he gavels them into session. If the schedule starts at noon, No...
WAMU 88.5
Members of the Virginia General Assembly are planning to oust a member of the state Supreme Court, a bit of unfinished business from last year, when Republicans decided they didn't like the justice appointed by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. The ...
WAMU 88.5
Not long after receiving a failing grade for transparency from the Center for Public Integrity, ​Virginia is taking yet another step again...
WAMU 88.5
In his State of the Commonwealth address, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe again tried to persuade lawmakers to expand Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians who lack health insurance. "I am truly convinced that we can find a bipartisan Virginia solution that totally protects our commonwealth's finances while taking advantage of this historic opportunity to make our state a better pla...