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Virginia Politics Blog: June 22, 2008 - June 28, 2008

McCain Names Virginia Director

Mike Reynold, who was in charge of Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell's (R) political operation, is now the Virginia Director of Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. Reynold is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and has a law degree from Penn State. In 2005, Reynold worked as an opposition researcher for Republican Jerry W. Kilgore's (R) unsuccessful campaign for governor. He also served as a legislative aide to Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott). "Virginia has been red, is still red, and we are going to win Virginia this year," said Reynold, who expects to rejoin McDonnell's campaign for governor after the November election....

By Tim Craig  |  June 27, 2008; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Obama Adds to Virginia Staff

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) announced today he is relocating additional staffers to Virginia. Stacey Brayboy, who managed Obama's Virginia effort in the days leading up to his 30-point victory in the Feb. 12 primary, will become the deputy director of his state general election campaign. Kevin Griffis will be the communications director. Both Brayboy and Griffis are familiar with Virginia politics. In 2005, Brayboy worked on Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's gubernatorial campaign. She later became deputy director of the Virginia Human Rights Council....

By Tim Craig  |  June 27, 2008; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Kaine Credits Gilmore's Political Skills

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is urging Democrats not to take Republican Senate James S. Gilmore III for granted. In an email, Kaine urges people to donate to Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner because Gilmore will be formidable. "Mark Warner is facing one of the fiercest, most aggressive campaigners in our state's history," said Kaine, who is asking people to donate $5 to Warner. "Before you know it, the polls will tighten, negative attacks will hit the airwaves, and Mark will need the resources to fire back and get his message out." Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokesman, said she doesn't have a problem with Kaine calling her boss "fierce". "They realize this race is not over as some folks have said," Gamonal said. "We absolutely believe as we move forward into the debates and we start talking substance and policy issues, and Mark Warner is forced to take positions, that...

By Tim Craig  |  June 27, 2008; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Polls , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Virginia GOP Has New Director

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William), the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, announced today that Allison Coccia will be the new executive director of the party. Coccia is the former executive director of the New York Republican State Committee and has also been the political director of Republican Party of Pennsylvania. In both jobs, her task was complicated by an electorate that had soured on the GOP brand. "After a thorough search that entailed interviewing several outstanding candidates, I concluded that Allison offers us a proven record at improving fundraising, communications, and building the grassroots," Frederick said....

By Tim Craig  |  June 27, 2008; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , James Gilmore III , Tim Craig  
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Thompson Raises Money for McDonnell

Former U.S. Senator and Law & Order alum Fred Thompson headlined a fundraiser for Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell last night in Virginia Beach. The fundraiser for the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2009 and former co-chairman of Thompson's presidential campaign in Virginia raised more than $300,000. About 325 supporters attended. "As a father, veteran, prosecutor and attorney general, Bob McDonnell has the experience, the values and the vision that Virginia needs,'' Thompson said. "I've been around politics a long time, and I believe that Bob McDonnell is the kind of leader we need. As a Virginia resident, I look forward to supporting Bob for Governor by voting for him next November."...

By Anita Kumar  |  June 27, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2008/President , Election 2009  
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Saslaw Wants GOP Senators to Switch Parties

Senate Majority Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), part jokingly but mostly serious, is urging his moderate Republican colleagues to leave the GOP and join the majority party in the Senate. Speaking to reporters today, Saslaw made the public offer because he thinks the Republican Party has drifted to far to the right for some moderates. He singled out two moderate GOP senators - Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment (James City) and Kenneth W. Stolle (Virginia Beach) - as potential party switchers. "They can leave that caucus and come over to our caucus," Saslaw said. "We don't have the rigid vote with your base 100 percent of the time or your fired rule."...

By Tim Craig  |  June 26, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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House Republicans and Democrats Get Testy

After three days of bickering during the special session on transportation, legislators are starting to dispense with the niceties. In debating a bill at the Rules Committee this morning, Del. R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) started to use the term "Democrat friends" when he was quickly interrupted. "Excuse me, did he say Democrat?'' House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) asked. "I believe it's Democratic." Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) defended Landes. "Friends was the important word,'' he said. "Actually grammar matters. Sorry, Mr. Speaker," Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) said. When Landes resumed talking, he stayed away from the word and used the safer term "friends from the other side" instead....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 26, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008 , Transportation  
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House GOP Prepares For Regional Tax Fight

House Republican leaders are expected to move ahead today with a proposal to reestablish regional transportation plans in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, setting up a potential split within the GOP caucus. Del. Phillip A. Hamilton (R-Newport News) said his proposal, which is expected to be embraced by the House leadership after it is heard by a committee today, will include a mix of state-imposed and locally enacted taxes, a concession for GOP leaders who previously had ruled out state-imposed taxes....

By Tim Craig  |  June 25, 2008; 11:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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O'Reilly Considering Challenge to Tom Rust

Some Virginia Democrats are encouraging Michael L. O'Reilly, the former mayor of Herndon, to run against Del. Thomas Davis Rust (R-Fairfax) next year. O'Reilly, a lawyer who was mayor from 2004 to 2006, currently serves on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. In an interview, O'Reilly said he hasn't made up his mind about whether he wants to run for elective office next year. "I am still heavily involved in the community and I am involved in a lot of things, but I am not a candidate for anything as it stands today," said O'Reilly, who added his wife told him he would be "crazy" if he decided to run for the House. "I am very, very busy running my law practice and very busy with the metropolitan airports board, which is almost a full-time job."...

By Tim Craig  |  June 25, 2008; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Mark Warner Opposes Higher Gas Tax

As part of the General Assembly's ongoing special session, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee will try Wednesday to push through proposals to increase Virginia's 17.5 cent a gallon gas tax to raise money for transportation. Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) wants a 6 cent a gallon increase, which will be phased in over six years. Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William), chairman of the Finance Committee, wants the tax raised 1.6 cents per year for 10 years. Saslaw notes Virginia's gas tax is far below the national average of 28.5 cents a gallon. Republicans, along with Democrats in the House, argue its irresponsible to raise the gas tax because consumers are already being hit with record fuel prices. Former Democratic governor Mark R. Warner, a candidate for U.S. Senate, appears to be siding with the GOP and House Democrats in this debate....

By Tim Craig  |  June 24, 2008; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Will Frederick Keep Promise Not to Run Again?

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick of Prince William, who vowed not to run for re-election next year if he was elected chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said he may reconsider that pledge. "A lot of guys around here are trying to convince me,'' Frederick said during a House recess. "I really don't want to (run)...But if there's this huge call and everyone in the world wants me to run for re-election, I guess there is some chance. If the whole world says we're going to relieve you of your pledge." Frederick said he is 99.9 percent sure he will not run but that he is continuing to raise money to help his wife, Amy, if she decides to run for his seat and to continue to pay for costs to serve his district over the next 18 months. "I'm not relieving myself of my responsibilities in representing the people...

By Anita Kumar  |  June 24, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Transportation  
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Davis Ally to Lead Va. 'Victory 08' Campaign

The Republican National Committee announced today that Nicholas Meads will be the director of the party's coordinated campaign in Virginia this year. Meads, who served as Rep. Tom Davis's 2006 campaign manager, has been active in Virginia GOP political campaigns since 2003, when he graduated from the College of William and Mary. After graduation, Meads managed David Kennedy's unsuccessful campaign to become a state delegate, representing Alexandria. The following year, Meads began working for Davis, serving as his deputy campaign manager. Through his work for Davis, Meads was also involved in former state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis's reelection effort in 2007. Experience on Meads resume also includes serving as former attorney general Jerry W. Kilgore's (R) Fairfax County field director during his unsuccessful bid for governor and work for Supervisor Michael C. May (R-Occoquan)....

By Tim Craig  |  June 24, 2008; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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GOP Poll Found Opposition to Higher Taxes

A poll commissioned by House Republicans in April found widespread opposition to higher taxes to pay for transportation, but it also includes responses that my make Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) optimistic about his own plan to raise additional revenue. The survey, which House Republicans are using to help justify their resistance to a statewide tax increase, found that 68 percent of likely voters oppose of a five cent hike in the state's 17.5 cent a gallon gas tax. (This was in April, before the latest surge in gas prices.) Residents in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads hold different views about paying more for gas....

By Tim Craig  |  June 23, 2008; 7:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Janis Continues to Criticize Kaine

Just last week, Del. William R. Janis (R-Goochland) criticized Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) for spending too much time on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign, which included traveling to Texas to speak on his behalf at a Democratic party convention. Today, Janis was one of the legislators picked by House Speaker William J. Howell to escort Kaine into the House chamber for his speech to the General Assembly on transportation. "Are you sure he's not in Texas?'' Janis said as he left the House floor to meet Kaine....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 23, 2008; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008 , Timothy M. Kaine , Transportation  
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Supervisor: Sterling a 'Cesspool' Due to Illegal Immigration

Republican Eugene Delgaudio, the Loudoun County supervisor who represents Sterling Park, made some heated remarks about illegal immigration and its impact on his district during an appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi show's Politics Hour on WAMU 88.1 FM Friday. When asked if some of the deteriorating living conditions in the area were a result of urbanization, Delgaudio had this to say. "This is not urbanization. This is a cesspool. People are coming from outside of this culture and they are dumping their crap on the streets of our town. And our town is outraged that they don't get with the program." Listen to the full discussion here. Delgaudio's interview takes place during the final 10 minutes of the show....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 23, 2008; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Loudoun County , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Special Session Bill List Continues to Grow

Updated 5:38 p.m. Del. Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News) and Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Winchester) responded to Kaine's remarks this afternoon. Meanwhile, the list of bills introduced, continued to grow - considerably. Updated 2:30 p.m. Gov. Kaine addressed lawmakers, following a morning appearance with the Virginia Business Council. "In Virginia, we don't make our reputations or improve our communities by delay or inaction," Kaine said in prepared remarks. "We rise and fall by our results. In the words of Cervantes, 'good actions ennoble us and we are the children of our deeds.'" New bills introduced today......

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 23, 2008; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  General Assembly 2008 , Transportation  
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Virginia Republican Party Needs Money

The Republican Party of Virginia is apparently struggling to raise money as it gears up for the presidential race and this year's U.S. Senate race between Democrat Mark R. Warner and Republican James S. Gilmore III. In an email to supporters today, the state party said it has been running a deficit in recent months. "Just a few weeks ago, we began our efforts to provide bold, new leadership to the Republican Party of Virginia," the email states. "Yet, it hasn't been easy. RPV ran deficits in April, May and now in June, and recent fundraisers have actually lost money."...

By Tim Craig  |  June 23, 2008; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Tim Craig  
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