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Virginia Politics Blog: June 29, 2008 - July 5, 2008

Obama Returns to Virginia Next Week

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, will visit Virginia at the end of next week. The exact time and location have not yet been announced. Obama will spend next week campaigning in states won by President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, including Virginia, where he will discuss plans to strengthen the economy....

By Anita Kumar  |  July 4, 2008; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/President  
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McCain To Start Ads in Virginia

U.S. Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is expected to start airing ads in Virginia on Tuesday. His campaign bought air time for 60-second TV ads in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and southwest Virginia....

By Anita Kumar  |  July 4, 2008; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Election 2008/President  
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Democratic Challenger Drops Out Of Race

Democrat Keith Hummel is abandoning his challenge of U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R) in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Prince William County. Today, Hummel announced that he was suspending his campaign, citing past financial difficulties and lamenting "the politics of personal attack and destruction." "Unfortunately, our elections today revolve around narrow and simplistic assessments of viability,'' he said in a statement. "Under such circumstances, it is little wonder that the politics of personal attack and destruction turn the mistakes of the past into harbingers of the future with little understanding that the brutal lessons learned through our life's struggles are valuable ingredients for successful leaders."...

By Anita Kumar  |  July 3, 2008; 11:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/Congress  
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Group Starts Ads to Encourage Legislators to Act

LIUNA, the Laborers' International Union of North America, began radio ads today in several area across the state "urging progress on the state's transportation crisis that negatively affects working people every day." The ads will run in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond and Fredericksburg through Wednesday when the General Assembly returns to the state Capitol to try once again to find money for road and transit projects. "Investing in Virginia's transportation system will dramatically improve safety and quality of life, while creating 50,000 good jobs in local economies," said Terence M. O'Sullivan, LIUNA General President. "Delegates in the Virginia House must take care of Virginia's basic priorities - the roads, highways, bridges and transit systems that the working men and women of the state rely on every day. It's time to build Virginia so Virginia works."...

By Anita Kumar  |  July 3, 2008; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2008 , Timothy M. Kaine , Transportation  
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Virginia Notebook: Democrats Stuck in Neutral

Shortly after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) called a special session to try to tackle transportation funding issues, the governor gave a blunt assessment of what he hoped to accomplish by advocating a tax increase even though he didn't have the support of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. "It will be very productive to either try to find a solution or make it plain to people who are standing in the way," Kaine said in an interview with The Washington Post in May. "We are going to make something happen or let the public see who is obstructing, and frankly, that is one of the reasons why Democrats have won elections in Virginia." But 10 days into the special session on transportation -- legislators have been on vacation for six of those days -- it remains uncertain whether any solution will be found or whether the governor will score any...

By Tim Craig  |  July 2, 2008; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Abusive Driver Fees , Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine , Transportation , Virginia Notebook , Winners and Losers  
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Gilmore Will Celebrate 4th of July in Fairfax

Republican U.S. Senate James S. Gilmore III is preparing for a major campaign push across Virginia, including reaching out to voters in Fairfax County. On Friday, Gilmore will march in the Dale City Independence Day parade during the morning. Gilmore, a former governor, will then attend the Leadership Institute's "Annual Conservative Fourth of July Soirée" at Bull Run Park in Centreville. The event is billed as a "patriotic annual celebration for all things conservative." Gilmore will wrap up his July 4 politicking by participating in the Clifton Independence Day parade and picnic. "This is just the beginning," Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokeswoman, said of the campaign's efforts in Fairfax County, a county Gilmore won during his 1998 bid for governor but has since been trending Democratic. "By spending one of the busiest days of the campaign in Northern Virginia, this shows our commitment to the region."...

By Tim Craig  |  July 2, 2008; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Tim Craig  
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Warner Spends More Than $4 Million

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D) has already spent $4.2 million on his bid for the U.S. Senate. Warner has raised $9.3 million since he got into the race in September, and has $5.1 million left in the bank, according to his latest campaign finance report, which was first reported on by the Associated Press....

By Tim Craig  |  July 2, 2008; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Kaine Lands Another $100,000 Plus Donor

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) now has another $100,000 donor to his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward. John O. Wynne, retired president and chief executive officer of Landmark Communications, which owns The Weather Channel and several newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and Roanoke Times, gave Moving Virginia Forward $25,000 on June 20. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Wynne has contributed $125,000 to Moving Virginia Forward. There are now six individuals or organizations that have contributed at least $100,000 to Kaine's political committee, which he uses to try to bolster the Virginia Democratic Party, including the governor's successful efforts last year in winning control of the state Senate, according to the Virginia Board of Elections and the Virginia Public Access Project....

By Tim Craig  |  July 2, 2008; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Former Top Cop Endorses Warner

W. Gerald Massengill, a retired Virginia State Police superintendent appointed by former Republican Gov. James S. Gilmore III, today endorsed Democrat Mark R. Warner for U.S. Senate. Massengill, best known for heading the panel that reviewed the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, was joined by five other law enforcement officials from around the state for a news conference in Richmond with Warner. A self-described Republican who spent 37 years in the state police force, Massengill was appointed superintendent in 2000 and served until 2003. That meant he served under Gilmore and Warner, who was governor from 2002 to 2006....

By Washington Post editors  |  July 1, 2008; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Virginia Tech massacre  
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Deeds Picks Up Endorsements in Moran's Backyard

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) will pick up law enforcement endorsements for his 2009 gubernatorial campaign tonight in Northern Virginia - the home of his rival for the Democratic nomination, Del. Brian J. Moran of Alexandria, a former prosecutor. Tonight's event is likely to be a boost for Deeds, who narrowly lost his bid for statewide office in 2005 and is already well known around the state. If Deeds can secure the Northern Virginia vote, he would be heavily favored to win the nomination. The event at the Fairfax County Police Association Hall will include Sen. J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (D-Fairfax), Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh and former Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Bob Horan....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 30, 2008; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , General Assembly 2008  
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Mark Warner's Money Boosts His Campaign, Party

Former governor Mark R. Warner and his wife, Lisa Collis, kicked in a lot of cash to get the Virginia Democratic Party's campaign efforts off the ground. Some of Warner's biggest supporters aided in the effort, donating to a new Virginia Democratic fundraising committee after they gave all they legally can to Warner's Senate campaign....

By Tim Craig  |  June 30, 2008; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Obama Airs Second Ad in Virginia

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has released his second general election television ad in Virginia. The 30-second ad will also air in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. "He worked his way through college and Harvard Law, turned down big money offers, and helped lift neighborhoods stung by job loss," the ad states. "Fought for workers' rights. He passed a law to move people from welfare to work, slashed the rolls by eighty percent. Passed tax cuts for workers; health care for kids. As president, he'll end tax breaks for companies that export jobs, reward those that create jobs in America. And never forget the dignity that comes from work."...

By Tim Craig  |  June 30, 2008; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Democrats Take Aim at Drake, Goode Over Gas

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching radio ads this week against U.S. Reps. Thelma D. Drake and Virgil Goode, both Republicans who represent Virginia districts that could be up for grabs in the fall. In the 60 second ad, an impersonator of President Bush accuses Drake or Goode of siding with "Big Oil." The ad that will run in Virginia Beach, which Drake represents, begins when the Bush impersonator gets an answering machine message at Drake's office. "Drakey, W here," the impersonator states. "Wanted to thank you for continuing to support the Big Oil Energy agenda. 'Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what's good for Big Oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh,...

By Tim Craig  |  June 30, 2008; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Tim Craig  
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