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Virginia Politics Blog: November 11, 2007 - November 17, 2007

Delegate O'Bannon Responds to Blackburn

In a posting earlier today, we published a letter that conservative activist Joseph Blackburn wrote to Del. John M. O'Bannon III (R-Henrico) about a potential challenge to House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). O'Bannon responded this afternoon. Some Republicans say this is the first skirmish of a potential GOP primary contest between O'Bannon and Blackburn in 2009. You can read O'Bannon's reponse to Blackburn's letter below....

By Tim Craig  |  November 16, 2007; 10:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Radio Discussion on Virginia Politics

Earlier today, I conducted a 20-minute interview with New York Public Radio about Virginia politics. Amy Eddings, a guest host for the "The Leonard Lopate Show" on WYNC, wanted to know if Virginia really is turning blue? We discussed last week's state legislative elections and next year's presidential and U.S. Senate contests. I also took questions about the state's shifting demographics, illegal immigration and the role of military voters in state politics. You can find an audio clip of the interview here....

By Tim Craig  |  November 16, 2007; 8:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , George F. Allen , Immigration , James Webb , Mark Warner , Polls , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine , Transportation  
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Winners and Losers

An occasional list of people in the news who came out on top. Or not. This Week's Winners George Allen - The former governor and senator reemerged onto the political stage this week with an op-ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch and a press conference announcing his support for Fred Thompson's bid for the GOP nomination for president. In both settings, Allen began to reassert his influence into the Virginia Republican Party. At the press conference, Allen was affable, humble, folksy and talkative. Planned Parenthood - After Democrats' success in the Nov. 6 legislative elections, the women's rights organization feels emboldened to crow about its renewed influence in state politics. The organization sent out a press release Monday noting that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) wants to cut off state funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Planned Parenthood says the election results proves Virginia voters back Kaine's approach because they...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 16, 2007; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Election 2007 , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , James Gilmore III , Thomas M. Davis III , Winners and Losers  
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Conservatives Step up Pressure to Oust Howell

Joseph Blackburn, a conservative who narrowly lost his challenge to Sen. Walter A. Stosch (R-Henrico) in this year's Republican primary, has stepped into the debate over whether House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) should replaced. On Sunday, the House Republican caucus will meet to decide Howell's fate. Several conservative Republicans, including Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), are trying to unseat Howell because they blame him for straying from his party's core conservative principles, which they say cost the GOP support in recent elections. Blackburn, whose been mentioned a possible candidate for House in 2009, has sent a letter to Del. John M. O'Bannon III (R-Henrico) calling on him to join the effort to unseat Howell. You can read Blackburn's letter below....

By Tim Craig  |  November 16, 2007; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Election 2007 , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Mark Warner , Tim Craig , Transportation  
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Warner Heads West to Raise Money

Democratic Senate Mark R. Warner is on his way back to Virginia today after a weeklong fundraising tour on the West Coast. Warner, who was governor between 2002 and 2006, hit up donors in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix. Kevin Hall, a Warner spokesman, said he's not sure how much the former governor raised, but described the fund-raisers as "very successful events."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 16, 2007; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Kicking (or Shooting) Her When She's Down?

State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) has been taking quite a beating in the public domain since she lost resoundingly to Democrat J. Chapman Petersen in last Tuesday's election. The Democratic-friendly blogs have been crowing over her defeat, and the de facto blow that the loss represented for her husband, U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, who devoted much of the last two months, hundreds of thousands of dollars in his campaign money, and a fleet of his political staff to saving his wife's political career. The beating is coming from the other side today, when the gun-rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League will hold a party to celebrate Devolites Davis's loss. In an effort to win in an increasingly Democrat-leaning district, the one-term senator campaigned in part on a promise to enact further gun controls. She also angered gun-rights activists by appearing with New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,...

By Amy Gardner  |  November 15, 2007; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Amy Gardner  
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Moran's Money

Del. Brian Moran, chairman of the House Democratic caucus, reports that he raised or gave a record-breaking $1million on candidates in this year's legislative elections. Moran (D-Alexandria), donated almost every penny that he collected in the account of his political action committee, Leadership for Virginia's Future. But he has raised some eyebrows in Richmond for holding onto another $500,000 donated to a second PAC, Friends of Brian Moran. Moran may plan to keep the money for a future campaign. He hasn't made a secret about his interest in possibly running for governor in 2009....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 15, 2007; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Kaine Heads to Iowa to Stump for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will spend the weekend stumping in Iowa for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Kaine will attend a series of coffees and small meetings for Obama in Cedar Rapids, Vinton, Waverly, Charles City, Osage, Mason City, Algona, Fort Dodge and Webster City. Iowa holds its first-in-the-nation nominating caucus Jan. 3. Kaine will be traveling by himself, meaning he will be the top draw and the main messenger for Obama at each location. "In Virginia and the rest of our great nation, people from across the political spectrum are excited by Senator Obama's commitment to uniting our country to make progress on the issues that matter to everyday Americans," said Kaine. "Barack Obama is the best candidate to lead America because he has the experience we need to challenge the conventional thinking in Washington and bring us together to work towards common goals."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 15, 2007; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Polls , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Doug Denneny Kicks Off Campaign for Congress

Doug Denneny, a retired Naval commander, has kicked off his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 11th District. In a series of events this week, Denneny stressed his background and stance on the issues makes him best candidate to replace Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va), who has yet to announce whether he plans to seek reelection. Denneny is calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq, universal access to health care and additional federal help for Northern Virginia's traffic problems....

By Tim Craig  |  November 15, 2007; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig , Transportation  
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Virginia Notebook: Election Answers

RICHMOND- Here are the answers to the election questions asked in the Oct. 25 Virginia Notebook after Democrats won the four seats needed to reclaim control of the state Senate and also make inroads in the House of Delegates. Q Can a Republican still win inside the Beltway? A Maybe. With Democrat Margaret G. Vanderhye's victory over Republican David M. Hunt for the seat of retiring Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax), there will be no elected Republican state official next year representing an inside-the-Beltway district. Hunt lost by just 540 votes, however. In Alexandria, Del. David L. Englin (D) beat Republican challenger Mark S. Allen by nearly 2 to 1. Even so, I wouldn't write off a Republican candidate's chance to someday prevail in Arlington, Alexandria or Fairfax....

By Tim Craig  |  November 14, 2007; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Campaign Ads , Election 2007 , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Immigration , James P. Moran Jr. , Thomas M. Davis III , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine , Virginia Notebook , Winners and Losers  
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Moran and the Jews, Cont.

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) had more to say about Jews today, but this time his comments aren't likely to unleash another torrent of criticism. Moran began his talk at an immigration forum by decrying U.S. policies in the late 1930s and early 1940s that blocked tens of thousands of Eurpoean Jews from escaping Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Without mentioning Jews or the Holocaust by name, he said a shameful chapter in U.S. immigration history was written "when we refused to allow [entry to] people who would otherwise be suffering not just persecution but extermination. Imagine how much greater a country we would have been were we not so prejudicial and xenophobic."...

By Steve Fehr  |  November 13, 2007; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Bill Turque , James P. Moran Jr.  
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Allen and McDonnell Endorse Thompson

Former senator George F. Allen (R-Va.) and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R), potential rivals in the 2009 governor's race, joined this morning to reiterate their support for Fred Thompson's bid for the GOP presidential nomination. At an event in Richmond, Allen and McDonnell praised Thompson's conservative credentials and said he is the Republican's best hope for unifying the party. "It is very easy for me to advocate for Fred because we think so much alike," said Allen, who cited Thompson's views on abortion, taxes, national security, illegal immigration and trade. McDonnell noted that Thompson won the endorsement yesterday of the National Right to Life group. "He has been a longstanding supporter of traditional values, a longstanding supporter of marriage and life," said McDonnell, who also noted that Thompson has a house in Northern Virginia....

By Tim Craig  |  November 13, 2007; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Bob Marshall Takes Aim at Speaker Howell

House Republicans could be in for a contentious meeting Sunday when they decide if Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) should stay in his job. Most observers expect Howell, who became speaker in 2002, will win reelection as speaker, even though Republicans have lost a net of 11 House seats since he took over, including four in last week's elections. But at least one delegate, Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), said today he plans to force a debate Sunday on whether Howell should be replaced. Marshall blames Howell for costing the GOP House seats because House leaders pushed for last year's transportation package, which included controversial fees on bad drivers and new taxes in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia....

By Tim Craig  |  November 12, 2007; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Transportation  
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Corey Stewart Won't Run for Congress

Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said today he won't be a candidate for Congress next year. Stewart, a Republican who was reelected last week with 55 percent of the vote, has been widely mentioned as a possible U.S. House candidate in the 11th District if Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Fairfax) decides not to seek reelection. But Stewart said in an interview he has "never liked legislatures" and prefers being board chairman. "The thought of being one of 435 people isn't appealing," Stewart said today. "Congress isn't all it's cracked up to be. You've got to run every two years, you are constantly campaigning."...

By Tim Craig  |  November 12, 2007; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Immigration , Tim Craig  
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George Allen Reminisces About the '90s

Former Republican governor George Allen says Virginia has been heading in the wrong direction since he left the governor's mansion in the late 1990s. . In an op-ed published Sunday in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Allen speaks out about how the Virginia Republican Party can reconnect with voters after Democrats' recent successes at the polls. Allen, who was governor between 1994 and 1998, takes credit for reforming welfare, making college more affordable and bringing jobs to the commonwealth during the 1990s. Allen, who also takes a few swipes at Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), said he fears the state is now "coasting along." "I am concerned that our commonwealth's progress is in danger of stalling," wrote Allen, who many GOP activists say is preparing for another run for governor in 2009....

By Tim Craig  |  November 12, 2007; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2007 , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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