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Virginia Politics Blog: October 28, 2007 - November 3, 2007

Lawyers Enter Campaign '07

The record fundraising by state legislative candidates this fall has meant big business for consultants, television stations and the U.S. Postal Service. Now, the lawyers are sharing in the wealth. Earlier today, the Livingston Group filed an anti-defamation lawsuit against the Virginia Democratic Party and House Democratic candidate Rex Simmons, who is challenging Del. Timothy Hugo (R-Fairfax). Hugo is a lobbyist for the Livingston Group, which Simmons attacked in a recent campaign mailer. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Virginia has filed a legal complaint with the State Board of Elections and Federal Election Commission asking for an investigation into whether campaign committees for Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) and her husband, U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Fairfax), violated state and federal campaign finance laws. The complaint alleges the husband and wife didn't properly disclose who was paying for a portion of her television advertisements....

By Tim Craig  |  November 2, 2007; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Republicans are MIA?

Earlier this week, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and other prominent Virginia Democrats kicked off a week-long tour of the state to energize voters to go to the polls Tuesday. Virginia Republicans countered by saying they, too, were having their own bus tour around the state. Each day this week, the Republican Party of Virginia has said it would send out information on the tour, scheduled to start Friday. But as of Friday morning, we have not heard a word....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 2, 2007; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Dirty Tricks in Prince William?

An anonymous flier in the 51st House District attacks Republican candidate Faisal Gill for having "terrorist ties," but his Democratic opponent Paul Nichols denies he sent it....

By Tim Craig  |  November 1, 2007; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2007  
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Connolly Shows the Love

Gerald E. Connolly, (D) with more than a few dollars to spare in his Fairfax Board Chairman's race against Republican Gary H. Baise, wrote a $125,000 check to the Virginia Democratic Party last week, according to new campaign finance reports. Connolly has enjoyed an overwhelming cash advantage from the get-go, raising $1.2 million since 2004 and spending only slightly more than half of it so far against the little-known Baise. He continues to pound the Falls Church trial lawyer financially, raising $195,358 in the Oct. 1-24 period, compared to $22,745 for Baise....

By Bill Turque  |  November 1, 2007; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2007 , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007  
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Connolly Consultant: Immigration Issue Headed South

The pollster for Fairfax County Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) says his re-election campaign provides an example of how illegal immigration can be turned into "a second-tier issue" by candidates who emphasize problem-solving and leadership....

By Bill Turque  |  November 1, 2007; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007 , Immigration , Polls  
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Kaine Helps Put Karen Schultz On TV

Democratic Senate candidate Karen Schultz has purchased air time in the expensive Washington media market. Schultz, who is running against Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel, started a $250,000 media buy today. In the ad, Schultz says she is a "hometown leader" who has been endorsed by former governor Mark R. Warner (D). Schultz also criticizes Vogel for being a "Washington insider" who has ties to the energy industry. Holtzman Vogel responded Friday with her own ads. On Tuesday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, gave Schultz's campaign $68,000. Schultz also wrote a $50,000 check to her campaign yesterday, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. You can view Schultz's ad here...

By Tim Craig  |  November 1, 2007; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Campaign Ads , Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Governing Magazine Honors Bill Leighty

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's former chief of staff, William H. Leighty, has been named by Governing Magazine as one their 9 "Public Officials of the Year." Leighty stepped down this summer after serving 18 months as Kaine's chief of staff. A veteran bureaucrat well respected by officials in both parties, Leighty also served as chief of staff during the four years Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) was in office. Governing Magazine said Leighty is "a man whose stewardship of state government in a wide variety of roles helped make Virginia one of the best managed states in the country."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 1, 2007; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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More fodder in Davis-Petersen ad wars

State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) has debuted a new advertisement on network television tonight, continuing the high-dollar, high-stakes ad wars with Democrat J. Chapman Petersen that could permanently transform Northern Virginia electoral politics. Devolites Davis became the first Virginia legislative candidate from Northern Virginia to buy expensive network air time in the Washington market. Petersen quickly followed suit, as has Democrat Janet Oleszek, who is challenging state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II in western Fairfax County. Watch the new ad here....

By Amy Gardner  |  October 31, 2007; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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Metro May be Next Stop for Connolly

There is talk that if he wins re-election as expected Tuesday, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) may try to expand his regional influence by grabbing the Virginia seat on the Metro board of directors. The current Virginia member, Fairfax Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee), did not seek re-election to the Fairfax board this year and is retiring....

By Steve Fehr  |  October 31, 2007; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2007 , Fairfax County Chairman's Race 2007 , Gerald E. Connolly  
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Did Herrity's Dad Make Developers Jump?

Transportation proffers are generally not the stuff of vivid anecdotes. But Pat S. Herrity, Republican candidate for the Springfield seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, has been recounting one to election-season audiences. Herrity, who is running against Democrat P. Mike McClanahan, promises to toughen the county's approach to extracting cash from developers for road and transit improvements to accompany new construction. As an example, he describes a mid-1980s meeting between his late father, then-board chairman John F. "Jack" Herrity (R), County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert and Milton V. Peterson, co-developer with John T. "Til" Hazel, of the 620-acre Fair Lakes project near the Fair Oaks Mall....

By Steve Fehr  |  October 31, 2007; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2007 , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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Mayor Bloomberg to Endorse Sen. Davis

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will make a stop in Northern Virginia tomorrow to endorse state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) in her tight race against Democrat Chapman "Chap" Petersen in the 34th District. We're told Bloomberg, an independent who at one time was rumored to be interested in running for president in 2008, will mentioned Davis' "independence and courage" and her support of legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 31, 2007; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Jost Picks Up Support in 1st District Bid

Several key conservative leaders announced today they are supporting Paul Jost's bid for Republican nomination for the 1st congressional district seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va). Jost, chairman of the Virginia Club for Growth, picked up endorsements from Republican delegates L. Scott Lingamfelter and Jeffrey M. Frederick, both of Prince William, as well as Del. Thomas D. Gear (R-Hampton). Former Republican Party Chairman Pat McSweeney and current Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell also announced their support for Jost. Jost, who lost to Davis in the 2000 GOP primary, is a wealthy businessman and major donor to conservative causes. The 1st District Republican Committee will hold a convention Nov. 10 to select the party nominee. The special election will be held Dec. 11. An updated list of announced GOP candidates can be found below:...

By Tim Craig  |  October 31, 2007; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Fairfax's Oleszek Up on Network TV

Democrat Janet Oleszek has gone up on network television as she seeks to unseat Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) in Tuesday's election. Oleszek's foray into network television in the expensive Washington media market, which also reaches viewers in Maryland and the District, signals such television buys could become the norm in future state legislative races. Earlier this month, Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) began airing commercials on network television. Devolites Davis's Democratic opponent, J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen, responded by last week by starting his own network television blitz. You can view Oleszek's ad here....

By Tim Craig  |  October 31, 2007; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Campaign Ads , Election 2007 , Tim Craig  
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Where in the World is Bob McDonnell?

With the election a week away, nearly every major state GOP official is busy scrambling to line up for votes for Republican state legislative candidates. After suffering losses in the last three statewide elections, many GOP leaders say the outcome of Tuesday's vote will be a critical test of the party's resiliency in traditionally conservative Virginia. This year's campaign is also a precursor to the 2009 governor's race. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and former governors James S. Gilmore III and George Allen have all been mentioned as possible GOP candidates for governor. Over the past week, Bolling has essentially cleared his scheduled to campaign for GOP candidates. Gilmore and Allen are also out on the campaign trail. But McDonnell has been noticeably absent....

By Tim Craig  |  October 30, 2007; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Leslie Byrne Willing to Take on Davis Next Year

Democrat. Leslie L Byrne said today she will likely be a candidate for Congress in the 11th District, even if incumbent Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va) decides to seek reelection. "I am running, there is no question about it," said Byrne, who held the seat between 1993 and 1995. "I am just waiting for the next election cycle to get done before we start on the next one." Byrne filed an exploratory committee earlier this month, when it appeared as if Davis would give up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Davis announced last week he will not be a Senate candidate. But Davis, who defeated Byrne in 1994, said he hasn't decided whether he plans to seek reelection. Byrne says "it doesn't matter who is in and who is out" because she thinks Davis, who won with 56 percent of the vote last year, will...

By Tim Craig  |  October 30, 2007; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Kaine to Hit Campaign Trail for Obama

When Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) finishes his drive Tuesday to elect more Democrats to the Virginia General Assembly, he will turn his attention to next year's presidential race. Earlier this year, Kaine became one of the first Democratic governors in the country to endorse Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill) presidential bid. In an interview on WTOP radio this morning, Kaine said he will be traveling to Iowa in mid-November to campaign for Obama. Kaine will also hit the campaign trail for Obama around Christmas. Kaine said he is still optimistic about Obama's chances, even though several recent polls indicate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) holds a big lead among Democratic voters nationwide. But Obama, Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards appear to be locked in a tight race in the crucial Iowa Democratic caucus Jan. 3. Virginia's primary is Feb. 12....

By Tim Craig  |  October 30, 2007; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Polls , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Money Money Money

The latest money reports are in, and the cash is flowing like rainwater in the hottest legislative races in the state. In Northern Virginia, state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax), in one of the toughest contests of the year against Democratic challenger J. Chapman Petersen, accepted $183,000 from the congressional committee of her husband, U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III. To date, Devolites Davis has accepted more than $400,000 from Davis, much of it directed toward network television advertising....

By Amy Gardner  |  October 30, 2007; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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Democrats Send Colgan Some Help

Virginia Democrats are hoping to pick up at least four seats in the state Senate but word is they are worried about losing one of their own: Sen. Charles J. Colgan of Prince William. To underscore how vulnerable they think Colgan may be when voters go to the polls next Tuesday both of the state Democratic party's superstars will be appearing with him this week....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 29, 2007; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , Mark Warner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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