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Virginia Politics Blog: October 7, 2007 - October 13, 2007

Lt. Gov. Bolling Ramps Up Campaigning

It looks like Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is getting ready to do some serious campaigning. No, not for himself. He's hitting the road to help Republicans running for local and legislative offices in Nov. 6 election. Just check out his schedule next week:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 12, 2007; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Air Wars Go Local

Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, launched his first round of television advertising this week with a $40,000-a-week cable TV buy, he said. And there's plenty more where that came from....

By Amy Gardner  |  October 12, 2007; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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Post Poll Preview: Kaine Earns High Marks

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval rating has dropped 14 points in the last year, but a large majority of residents still think he is doing a good job, according to a Washington Post poll scheduled to be published Sunday. The poll will cover Virginians' views on next month's election for control of the General Assembly. It willl also gauge voters' attitudes about the two parties as well as issues such as transportation and the environment. A poll published today looked at next year's Senate and presidential race. Kaine has been campaigning for Democratic candidates running for the House and Senate. In a Washington Post poll last year, Kaine scored an unusually high 77 percent approval rating. But this weekend's poll shows Kaine with a 63 percent approval rating....

By Tim Craig  |  October 12, 2007; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Polls , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next, They Turn Off The Mike

A standard feature of candidate debates are cue cards, usually held up by an intrepid volunteer stationed in the front row, to tell candidates how much time they have left to speak. Organizers of Thursday's McLean Chamber of Commerce breakfast forum came up with an unusual prod for folks to finish up. After cards reading "1 minute," "30 seconds" and "Time," those still orating saw one that read, "Blah Blah." Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) liked it so much he asked if he could have it. "Maybe I'll bring it to future debates," he quipped. Or perhaps bring it to flash at windy constituents in public hearings....

By Bill Turque  |  October 11, 2007; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Debates , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007  
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Baise Vows to Stop Dulles Rail In Its Tracks

Republican Gary H. Baise says that if elected Chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors he would halt the planned Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport unless the elevated segment through Tysons Corner was built below ground. "My first action would be to stop that project until we get it right," Baise said at a Thursday breakfast forum sponsored by the McLean Chamber of Commerce. Baise, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Gerald E. Connolly, is on record supporting a Tysons tunnel. But this morning's pledge was his most explicit of the campaign on the Dulles project, which he has also criticized for its mushrooming cost, dearth of transparency and lack of competitive bidding on aspects of the contract. His vow drew applause from the audience at the Westin Tysons. Baise also trashed Dulles Transit Partners, the private construction consortium headed by Bechtel and Washington Group International that would build...

By Bill Turque  |  October 11, 2007; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Debates , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007  
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Post Poll Preview: Virginians Like Their U.S. Senators

First term Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) is popular among Virginians who know him, according to a Washington Post poll to be published tomorrow. The poll will cover Virginians' views on next year's U.S. Senate and presidential races. It also has favorability ratings of various politicians, including Webb and retiring Sen. John W. Warner....

By Steve Fehr  |  October 11, 2007; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  James Webb , Polls , Tim Craig  
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Virginia Notebook: Davis and His Decision

As Virginia Republican leaders gather this weekend to decide whether to hold a convention or primary to select their nominee for the U.S. Senate, no one will be following the outcome more closely than U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.)....

By Steve Fehr  |  October 10, 2007; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Mark Warner to Move Into New Office

The Mark Warner for Senate campaign will be moving into a a new office later this week. Campaign officials say the office, at 1029 N. Royal Street in Alexandria, is more than double the size of their current space on Union Street in Alexandria. The new digs, which Warner plans to stay in through the general election next year, consists of a large open space and several smaller offices....

By Tim Craig  |  October 9, 2007; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Rhetoric Heats Up in Assembly Races

Yesterday, top Republican and Democratic leaders traded barbs over who is responsible for the strength of the state's economy and whether President Bush should be a factor in voters' decisions this year. With the Nov. 6 election less than a month away, the rhetoric and campaign promises are increasing as Democrats try to retake the state Senate and make inroads in the GOP-led House of Delegates. In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up efforts to link GOP candidates to the policies of the Bush administration. In Fairfax County, House Democratic candidate Rex Simmons has sent out a mailer with a photo of Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R) standing with Vice President Cheney. Read the full story here....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  October 9, 2007; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Campaign Ads , Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Despite Howell, GOP Candidates Hate Those Fees

According to Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff, Republicans are still divided over those controversial fees on bad drivers. Top GOP leaders, including Attorney General Robert F. McDonell (R) and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, went on a statewide tour Monday in hopes of boosting the fortunes of Republicans running in the Nov. 6 election. At a stop at Manassas Regional Airport, House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) took credit for the fees and said they are making roads safer. But as soon GOP leaders ended their speeches and headed back to the tarmac for their next flight, the local Republican candidates who stayed behind rushed up to reporters to distance themselves from Howell's support of the fees, which can reach $3,000....

By Tim Craig  |  October 8, 2007; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Debatable Points in Fairfax Chairman's Race

Baise also contends that graduation rates in Fairfax County schools have plunged precipitously in recent years, from the high nineties to the low eighties. In fact, he is mixing apples and oranges from different sets of data. Fairfax schools derive their graduation rate by comparing the number of seniors who started the year with the number who finish. That calculation produced a rate of about 97 percent this year. State education officials, accountable to administrators of the federal No Child Left Behind Law, use a more rigorous formula, involving drop outs from 9th through 12 grades. "He doesn't understand what he's been told or what he's reading," said Connolly.

By Bill Turque  |  October 8, 2007; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Debates , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007  
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Can Hillary Save Jeannemarie?

State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) thinks U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is saving her reelection campaign against Democrat J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen. Davis and Petersen are locked in one of the closest, most heated contests in the state, the outcome of which could determine whether the Democrats retake the state Senate. In an interview with the Associated Press, Davis said her campaign is rebounding because Clinton's presidential bid is helping to energize moderate Republicans into supporting GOP candidates for the state legislature in the Nov. 6 election. "She is a very polarizing figure and in her own way she is moving Republicans back to the Republican way of voting," Davis told the AP....

By Tim Craig  |  October 8, 2007; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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