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Virginia Politics Blog: September 16, 2007 - September 22, 2007

New Loudoun PAC

A new political action committee has launched in Loudoun, and it has a familiar target. The Loudoun Coalition, which formed in August, "stands in opposition to five incumbent supervisors who are standing for reelection," according to a Thursday press release announcing the group's formation. If you live in Loudoun, you can probably guess which five they are talking about -- Stephen J. Snow (Dulles), Mick Staton Jr. (Sugarland Run), Jim E. Clem (Leesburg), Eugene A. Delgaudio (Sterling) and Bruce E. Tulloch (Potomac), the board's pro-growth Republicans. "Sounds like one more guy having fun attacking the Republicans," Staton said Friday....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  September 21, 2007; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Loudoun County , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Introducing Winners and Losers

Today marks the start of a regular feature of the Virginia Politics blog called "Winners and Losers." It's pretty self-explanatory. In this breezy feature you will find the week's political winners and losers, reflecting the ups and downs of the Virginia political world....

By Steve Fehr  |  September 21, 2007; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Winners and Losers  
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Fight Brewing Over Budget Shortfall

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is considering asking lawmakers to dip into the state's "rainy day" fund to make up for a $640 million budget shortfall. But some Republican senators - and one in particular - has a message for the Democratic governor: No way. Sen. William C. Wampler Jr. (R-Bristol), who is in line to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee if the Republicans retain control of the Senate in November, told reporters Thursday that "now is not the time" to tap the state's savings account. (In its 17-year history, state officials have only had to raid it once.) Instead, some senators want Kaine to consider cutting some of his priorities. Stay tuned. The fight over the budget will likely become a major issue in the General Assembly session that starts in January....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 20, 2007; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008  
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Fairfax Dems Say Baise's Gloom, Doom Won't Sell

Both camps in the Fairfax County Chairman's race expressed satisfaction with their candidate's showing at Tuesday afternoon's Chamber of Commerce debate. Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly and Republican attorney Gary Baise took questions for about an hour from a panel of reporters at the Westin Tysons. "I thought Baise was all swagger and not much substance," said George Burke, communications director for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. "I didn't hear a lot of concrete proposals other than as a private citizen he'd do it differently." Burke said that Baise's core message-- that the quality of life in the county had deteriorated under Connolly's watch--was not going to resonate with voters. He did allow, however, that Baise's extensive experience as a trial lawyer was evident in the poise and ease of his presentation....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 19, 2007; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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Virginia Notebook: GOP Could Learn From Democrats

If Republicans acted like Democrats, they wouldn't be priming for a clash next year over who their party's nominee will be for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John W. Warner (R-Va.). With former governor Mark R. Warner (D) now a Senate candidate, Republicans are bracing for a nasty primary or convention battle between Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Fairfax) and former governor James S. Gilmore...

By Steve Fehr  |  September 19, 2007; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Fireball vs. Monopoly Man

The chairman's race in Loudoun County is heating up -- but not in the way you might think. Three-term incumbent Scott K. York (I), who has been chairman for the past two terms, started off his campaign for reelection this fall not by attacking his opponent but by going after five of his fellow supervisors, all Republicans, whom he has dubbed "the gang of five."...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  September 18, 2007; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Loudoun County , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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A Virginia GOP Star on the Horizon?

In the race to replace retiring Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax), Republican Dave Hunt is showing surprising strength in his match up against Democrat Margaret Vanderhye. Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show Hunt raised $118,000 in July and August and has $90,000 in the bank. Vanderhye raised $104,000 during the same period and has $88,000 in the bank. Callahan represents the McLean and Great Falls area, where many voters have sided with the Democrats in recent statewide elections. The race to succeed Callahan holds tremendous symbolism for both parties because he is the last elected Republican to represent a district that is mostly inside the Beltway....

By Tim Craig  |  September 18, 2007; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Davis Enters "General Betray Us" Fray

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, a possible Republican Senate candidate in 2008, is requesting a inquiry into whether the New York Times allowed Moveon.org to run its controversial "General Betray Us" ad at a discounted rate. In a letter to Henry A. Waxman (D-Ca), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Davis said the "committee should hold a hearing to examine whether the advertising rates and practices of media companies conceal unlawful campaign contributions." Davis is the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In his letter, Davis cites a published report that said Moveon paid $65,000 for the ad. Davis said the New York Times admitted that the open rate for such an ad is $181,000....

By Tim Craig  |  September 18, 2007; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Kevin Hall to Join Mark Warner's Campaign

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) press secretary, Kevin Hall, announced this morning he is leaving the adminstration to join former governor Mark R. Warner's campaign for the U.S. Senate. Hall said his resignation will take effect in November. He will likely become Warner's chief spokesman for the 2008 campaign. Hall is a former radio reporter and Richmond-based Associated Press print journalist. When Warner (D) was elected governor in 2001, Hall left journalism to become Warner's deputy press secretary in 2002. In 2005, Hall became Warner's chief spokesman, a job he continued in after Kaine toook office in 2006....

By Tim Craig  |  September 18, 2007; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Roemmelt Doesn't Need Developer Cash

Bruce Roemmelt, a Democratic candidate challenging Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), says he will return a $250 donation he received from Affordable Shelter Political Action Committee because it is a front group for developers. The PAC, affiliated with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, gave Roemmelt the money in July. Roemmelt, who has made curtailing sprawl and development a major theme of his campaign, said he discovered the donation as he was preparing to file the campaign finance reports due today....

By Tim Craig  |  September 17, 2007; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Connolly Endorsed by Green Groups

Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday will announce endorsements from three environmental organizations: the Sierra Club, the Clean Water Action Project, and the Fairfax chapter of the League of Conservation Voters....

By Steve Fehr  |  September 17, 2007; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Debates , Election 2007 , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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The Race Is On

The ad wars have begun in Fairfax County, where two incumbent Republican state senators -- Ken Cuccinelli and Jay O'Brien -- went up on cable TV last week. Cuccinelli's opponent, Democrat Janet Oleszek, is also running an ad on cable....

By Amy Gardner  |  September 17, 2007; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Campaign Ads , Election 2007  
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Del. Kirk Cox Hit by Car; Jody Wagner 'Thankful'

Virginia House Majority Whip M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) was struck by a car this morning near the State Capitol, but escaped serious injury. Cox was trying get to a budget presentation by Virginia finance secretary Jody Wagner when he was hit. Midway through Wagner's talk to the House Appropriations Committee, Chairman Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax) interrupted Wagner to tell the audience that an ambulance was responding to the Capitol grounds to treat Cox. But 15 minutes later, Cox walked into the committee room and took his seat....

By Tim Craig  |  September 17, 2007; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Gilmore Winning Conservative Support

Two of the nation's leading conservative activists announced today they are supporting former Gov. James Gilmore if he decides to seek the the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vactated by John W. Warner (R). David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Paul Weyrich, executive of the Free Congress Foundation, said in a joint letter that Gilmore is the Republican Party's " best opportunity to hold on to Senator Warner's seat in the election in November of 2008." "He is honest, consistent and conservative," Keene and Weyrich wrote....

By Tim Craig  |  September 17, 2007; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Tim Craig  
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