This Week's Winners and Losers
This week's winners:
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III: Despite opposition from President Bush, Davis joins 44 other House Republicans in voting to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to low-income kids. Davis' vote could upset some conservatives who will help decide whether Davis or former Gov. James S. Gilmore III is the GOP nominee for Senate 2008. But Davis' vote shows how he is already thinking ahead to a general election match up against former governor Mark R. Warner (D).
Karen Schultz: The Democratic state candidate running in the 27th district, which stretches from western Loudoun to the upper Shenandoah Valley, is generating a buzz. It's a tough district for a Democrat, but officials in both parties say Schultz is running a smart, strong campaign. Schultz got a boost this week when the Northern Virginia Daily ran a story about how the husband of her GOP opponent, Jill Holtzman Vogel, "has been lobbying Congress for more immigrant-friendly policies," even as his wife seeks to make illegal immigration a major theme of her campaign.
This week's losers:
Republican Party of Virginia staff: Someone at the state party posted a profanity-laced video on their website that mocked Democratic Senate candidate Mark R. Warner. The ad was quickly pulled down, but not before it became fodder for bloggers. Doesn't the RPV staff have enough to worry about with this fall's state legislative races? There will be plenty of time to play games in 2008. This year, let the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee take the lead in roughing up Warner.
Del. Robert W. Marshall (R-Prince William): Democrats and moderate Republicans team to oust Marshall as chairman of the Virginia immigration commission. In the end, it was a 16-3 vote to elect moderate Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Chesterfield) as chairman because Marshall has a reputation for being too combative. Even one of House Speaker William J. Howell's (R-Stafford) appointees to the panel supported Watkins.
Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax): Cuccinelli admitted some voters were upset over his decision to mail out an advertisement in an envelope that looked like an official Fairfax County income tax bill. But Cuccinelli's defended himself by calling the ad a "gimmick." May not have been the best word choice. May not be long before a Democratic ad starring Cuccinelli and his gimmicks.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Kate Hanley and Tim Kaine's appointments office: Hanley oversees the appointments staff, which suggests people to fill administration jobs and serve on panels and commissions. But this week a lot of people are asking if the office ever heard of a background check. Last month, Kaine appointed Dr. Esam S. Omeish, a surgeon who is also president of the Muslim American Society, to the immigration commission. But Omeish was forced to resign after videos surfaced of him referring to the "Jihad way" and the "Israeli war machine." Considering the highly charged atmosphere over immigration, this was a blunder. You can bet in the future, You Tube will be added to the list of background checks.
Republicans on the Virginia crime commission: They floated a proposal Tuesday to built a 1,000-bed prison to detain illegal immigrants accused of committing crimes. The following day, House and Senate Democrats outlined seven issues they plan to talk about in the weeks leading up to Nov. 6 election but immigration wasn't one of them. Which party has the better pollster? We'll find out on Nov. 6.
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