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Virginia Politics Blog: March 16, 2008 - March 22, 2008

Connolly, Firefighters Continue a Beautiful Friendship

As investments go, Gerald E. Connolly has yielded pretty good returns for Fairfax County firefighters and paramedics. Their union, Local 2068 of the International Association of Firefighters, has put up nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to the Board of Supervisors chairman over the last four years. During that period, they've received salary increases significantly higher than those of other county employees. County and union officials say there was no quid pro quo, and that the raises were strictly a matter of keeping public safety pay competitive with surrounding communities....

By Bill Turque  |  March 21, 2008; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2008/Congress , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly  
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Another Big Kaine Donor

Suzann W. Matthews, a onetime finance mogul and community activist from McLean, continues to pony up for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) political activities. Earlier this month, Matthews gave $25,000 to Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, according to the State Board of Elections. Since Kaine formed his committee in 2006, Matthews has contributed a total of a $108,000. Matthews is a major donor to Democratic candidates and causes in Virginia, giving nearly $1 million since 1996, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Kaine has received a big chunk of that money....

By Tim Craig  |  March 19, 2008; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Another Conservative Enters Senate Race

There are now three candidates running for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va). Robert D. "Bob" Berry, a longtime conservative activist from Springfield, says he filed paperwork with the state party last month and has begun making the rounds to local GOP committees. "The Republican Party is losing its way on a number of very important issues and it needs some serious guidance in terms of resting on its foundational principles," said Berry, who will face former governor James S. Gilmore III and Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) at the GOP state convention in May. "I decided to run because the party needs a lot of help in returning to its roots."...

By Tim Craig  |  March 19, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Tim Craig  
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Denneny Decries 11th District Squabbling

While Leslie L. Byrne and Gerald E. Connolly trade charge and countercharge about their records and tactics, 11th District Democratic Congressional candidate Doug Denneny is trying to gain some ground on the high road. "Just like the career politicians they are, Doug's opponents are quibbling over campaign tactics instead of focusing on the real problems facing voters in the 11th district," his communications director, Kevin Franck, said in a statement today. "The fact that our opponents have gone negative so early in this race is troubling." Franck said such intramural food fights are especially unseemly on the 5th anniverary of the Iraq War. Denneny is a former Navy pilot and Iraq war veteran. "Brave men and women of our armed forces are still in harms way," he said. "Getting our country back on track will require real leadership for a change, not inside-baseball political fights. Let's keep our eye...

By Bill Turque  |  March 19, 2008; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2008/Congress  
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Brian Moran Builds Staff

Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) continues to bolster his campaign staff as he prepares to run for governor next year. Moran announced today that Jean Jensen, former head of the State Board of Elections, will become a senior adviser to his campaign. Jensen is a former executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party. She also served as the Northern Virginia director for Mark Warner's 2001 bid for governor. Del. Lionell Spruill (D -Chesapeake), a member of the Democratic National Committee, will be an outreach consultant for Moran. Spruill, an African-American, has deep roots in the Virginia Democratic Party and is widely respected in Hampton Roads. But Spruill hasn't had the best track record in recent years of picking winning candidates to work for....

By Tim Craig  |  March 18, 2008; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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