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Virginia Politics Blog: October 14, 2007 - October 20, 2007

Jim Webb's Big New Hampshire Speech

Virginia Sen. James Webb (D) was the keynote speaker tonight at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner, a noteworthy honor for a freshman senator. Webb, who's been touted as a possible vice-presidential candidate, accused Republicans of blocking Democrats' efforts to change direction in Iraq, according to a transcript of the speech. Webb asked the audience to work to defeat New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu, who is up for re-election in 2008, so Senate Democrats can accomplish more. Webb recounted how one of his top priorities - enacting a bill that would have required that troops get more rest at home before being redeployed - was defeated this summer when Democrats could not muster the 60 votes needed to end a GOP filibuster. "When the Republicans vote against the troops on an issue like this, they deserve to be held accountable," said Webb, who also spoke about...

By Tim Craig  |  October 20, 2007; 10:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Webb , Tim Craig  
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This Week's Winners and Losers

Winners: Mark Tate- All campaign finance fraud charges were dismissed against the former GOP Senate candidate from Loudoun County after the prosecutor said the case had been tainted by allegations of improprieties in the investigation. Tim Kaine Two different polls came out during the past week showing Kaine's approval ratings remain strong, despite the summer-long controversy over abuser fees and illegal immigration. Kaine has also proved he's a prolific fundraiser. Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, has $1 million in the bank to spend in the campaign's final days. With three weeks to go until the election, Kaine is popular and rich. What more could a politician ask for? Jim Gilmore: The former governor scores a big victory by convincing the Republican State Central Committee to hold a convention over a primary to select its nominee in next year's U.S. Senate race. Gilmore also appears hungry to get back...

By Steve Fehr  |  October 19, 2007; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Loudoun County , Mark Warner , Thomas M. Davis III , Timothy M. Kaine , Winners and Losers  
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Whose Fair Share?

A common gripe around Loudoun County these days has been the way Richmond divvies up the tax money generated by Northern Virginia, the state's "economic engine." Only a fraction of every tax dollar generated in Northern Virginia comes back in the form of road improvements, school funding and similar benefits. Candidates keep demanding "our fair share" to pay for the county's badly needed schools and roads. But two state delegates this week broke from the chorus....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 18, 2007; 8:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Loudoun County , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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More GOP division

State Sen. Martin E. Williams (R-Newport News) is the latest moderate Republican to predict trouble on the horizon for the GOP if it doesn't open its tent to a broad range of voters. Williams, who lost a fierce primary battle earlier this year to conservative Tricia Stall, has launched a new blog, www.reagansgop.com, whose principal theme will be to lament the damage that the party's conservative wing is wreaking on GOP majorities....

By Amy Gardner  |  October 18, 2007; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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Democrats throw a party

Sen. Henry L. Marsh III (D-Richmond) will be honored for his 41 years of service in public office tonight at what looks to be a very swanky reception at the Richmond Marriott. Special guests include Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, former Gov. Mark R. Warner and U.S. Rep. Robert Scott. There will be a jazz ensemble, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Marsh faces an independent in next month's election and with it being just a few weeks before the big day, they have turned this event into a fundraiser. $500 to $1,000 buys you a ticket....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 18, 2007; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , James Webb , Mark Warner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Conservative Republican gives to Democrats

Jerry Parker, chairman of the Virginia Conservative Action political action committee, which has tried to rid the General Assembly of moderate Republicans in the past, has uncharacteristically donated money to two Democrats this year. Parker gave $1,000 to J. Chapman Petersen, running against Republican Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, and $5,000 to Albert Pollard, running against Republican Richard H. Stuart, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Is this part of a new strategy? Parker did give $138,000 to the PAC and a handful of Republican candidates including Bob FitzSimmonds, running against Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William)...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 18, 2007; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Connolly and LBJ, Continued

There's a bit more to the story of the Lyndon Johnson photos in the conference room of Fairfax Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D). As The Post mentioned in its Monday morning piece on Connolly's four year record as chairman, the series of photos, known as "The Johnson Treatment," show the then-Senate Majority Leader strongarming a committee chairman....

By Steve Fehr  |  October 17, 2007; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2008/Congress , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007 , Gerald E. Connolly  
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Virginia Notebook: The Bush Factor

Virginia Republicans had a scare during the fall of 2004 when some polls showed Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry surprisingly close to President Bush in the campaign for the state's 13 electoral votes. GOP leaders and activists rallied to Bush's side, ramping up the party's get-out-the-vote campaign and redoubling efforts to paint the Massachusetts senator as a Northeastern liberal who was out of step with the state's conservative reputation. On Election Day, it wasn't even close. Virginia went for Bush over Kerry by 9 percent. Some Virginia Republicans, however, have been regretting that day ever since....

By Tim Craig  |  October 17, 2007; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig , Virginia Notebook  
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Davis Hints He May Pass on 08 Senate Run.

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R) is hinting that he is unlikely to be a candidate in next year's U.S. Senate race. As reported this morning by The Hill newspaper, Davis spoke to a breakfast gathering at the National Press Club yesterday. At the event, Davis said he may be inclined to challenge Sen. James Webb in 2012 instead of taking on Democrat Mark R. Warner in 2008 for the seat of retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va). "There are other races; this isn't the only shot," said Davis, according to The Hill. "You've got a very vulnerable guy sitting there in the other Senate seat right now who may or may not run in four years. And you know what? If you don't go to the Senate, so what? I've been a committee chairman in the House. I've got my portrait hanging on a wall. I've been pretty...

By Tim Craig  |  October 17, 2007; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Voters like Kaine, Warner but not Assembly

A new poll shows former governor Mark R. Warner (D) with a nearly 2 to 1 lead in next year's U.S. Senate race over either one of his potential GOP challengers. The poll by Christopher Newport University shows Warner beating either former governor James P. Gilmore III or Rep. Thomas M. Davis III by a margin of 24 points. If the election were held today, 51 percent of voters would support Warner while 27 percent said they would favor either Gilmore or Davis. The Christopher Newport University survey also found that voters have a negative view of the Republican-controlled General Assembly, but they support Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine....

By Tim Craig  |  October 17, 2007; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , General Assembly 2008 , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Polls , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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An Exaggeration or an Untruth?

Democrat J. Chapman Petersen, who is seeking to unseat Fairfax state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R) in what is widely viewed as one of the most competitive races in Virginia this year, put the Fairfax Education Association in a tough spot at a candidates forum Sunday at which he claimed that the teacher group endorsed Davis only because she is the incumbent. "I don't have the FEA endorsement because I'm not an incumbent," Petersen told the audience at Temple Rodef Shalom Sunday morning. "It's funny -- the president of the FEA said, 'I'll come to every single one of your fundraisers, and I'll write you a personal check, but understand that we can't go against an incumbent that meets the minimum score.' Our children deserve better than the minimum score. If I'm elected, you're going to get better than the minimum score."...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 16, 2007; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Debates , Election 2007  
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Who is Tim Kaine's Half-Million Dollar Man?

Randal J. Kirk, a Radford businessman, has become Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) half-million dollar man. On Oct. 4, Kirk donated $250,000 to Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, that is trying to elect more Democrats to the General Assembly. Over the past two years, Kirk has contributed a total of $450,000 to the PAC, according to the State Board of Elections. In 2005, Kirk also donated $100,000 to Kaine's campaign for governor. He gave another $100,000 to Kaine that year through one of his holding companies, according to the Roanoke Times. Kirk is Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Third Security, LLC, an investment management firm he founded in 1999. In July, Kaine reappointed Kirk to Radford University's governing board....

By Tim Craig  |  October 16, 2007; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Hugo Asks For an Apology But Doesn't Get One

Late last week, Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) wrote a letter to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) asking him to denounce a campaign mailer sent out by Hugo's Democratic opponent, Rex Simmons, and apologize for the Democratic party's involvement. "As a good father, I ask you to consider how you would respond when a child or family member asks you why someone would falsely accuse you of complicity in human torture,'' Hugo wrote Thursday. "As a man of honor, I call on you to direct the Democratic Party of Virginia to issue a retraction and an apology to me and my family." Three days later, Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, sent out an email to supporters highlighting two candidates for the General Assembly including Simmons. "Rex Simmons believes in Virginia's future. He was an underdog. But he's fought hard and clawed his way into a race that has...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 15, 2007; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Election 2007 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Kaine Has $1 Million to Turn Assembly Blue

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will report today his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, has about $1 million in the bank to help Democratic state legislative candidates running in Virginia's Nov. 6 election. The campaign filing reports, which candidates and political action committees must file today, come as both parties are raising and spending record amounts of money. Democrats think they are well-positioned to win the four seats needed to regain control of the state Senate and some of the 11 needed to win a majority in the House of Delegates. Kaine raised about $1 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 for his PAC. During that period, Kaine distributed more than a half-million dollars to Democratic candidates, most of it in September. In the final three weeks of the campaign, Kaine could dump tens of thousands of dollars into individual races, putting several GOP incumbents on the...

By Tim Craig  |  October 15, 2007; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Jim Webb in 2012 or 2016?

There's been lots of speculation that Sen. James Webb (D) could be on the short list for vice-president in 2008. But maybe Webb has his eye on the top job? And, as everyone knows, the road to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2012 or 2016 will likely run through New Hampshire. Webb, 61, will be keynote speaker Saturday at New Hampshire Democratic Party Annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Manchester. Webb's appearance reminds me of a private discussion I had with one of his campaign staffers after last year's U.S. Senate race. The friend said Webb wants to be President someday. Webb just laughed when I asked him later whether a presidential run is in his future....

By Tim Craig  |  October 15, 2007; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Webb , Tim Craig  
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Wash Post Polling Director Discusses Va Poll

Jon Cohen, the Washington Post polling director, and polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta, conducted an online chat today on the paper's recent Virginia poll. The poll found that Democrat Mark R. Warner has a big lead in next year's U.S. Senate race. The paper also reported that a majority of voters want the Democrats to take control of the General Assembly. You can find Jon and Jennifer's chat here....

By Tim Craig  |  October 15, 2007; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , General Assembly 2008 , James Gilmore III , Polls , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig  
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Republicans Accuse Kaine of Playing Politics

For the second week in a row, House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith accused the Kaine administration of trying to scare voters into believing the state's finances are worse than they are. Griffith (R-Salem) called the administration's lack of information "inappropriate" and "improper" and said it's not the way things should be done in Virginia. Earlier on Monday, Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee berated the state's secretary of finance and budget director for failing to provide other alternatives to the state's $640-million shortfall besides crucial cuts to services or dipping into the state's rainy day fund....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 15, 2007; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Poll Shows Voters Frustrated With Traffic

There is another poll out that shows the public doesn't think the recently approved transportation package will do enough to solve the state's traffic woes. On Sunday, the Washington Post published a poll that showed voters by a 2 to 1 margin don't think the transportation funding package supported by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D)_ and GOP leaders, designed to raise $1 billion annually, does enough. The findings in The Post poll are confirmed in a survey released today by Christopher Newport University. That poll found just 18 percent of voters think the transportation deal, which relies on regional taxing districts in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, goes far enough in solving the problem....

By Tim Craig  |  October 15, 2007; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , General Assembly 2008 , Polls , Tim Craig , Transportation  
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