Archive: August 2008

Va. Delegates Take Schedule Changes in Stride

MINNEAPOLIS -- Members of Virginia's delegation to the Republican National Convention said that presumptive presidential nominee John McCain did the right thing by scrapping much of tomorrow's activities due to a hurricane bound for the Gulf Coast. "The Republican party is the party of life,'' said Jonathan Krive, chairman of the Falls Church City Republican Committee and a convention delegate. "The most important priority for us is to make sure the folks in Louisiana and other states are safe." Virginians still plan to attend the RNC Delegate Welcome Party scheduled for tonight at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Republican Party of Virginia also will continue to hold its "Arcade Night" welcome party, sponsored by Norfolk Southern, and its delegation breakfast tomorrow morning. "I think it's appropriate,'' said Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William), state GOP chairman. "We've got to balance this stuff out. Hundreds of people are here. They can't...

By Anita Kumar | August 31, 2008; 6:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

Virginia Delegates Get Ready for Convention

MINNEAPOLIS --The 123 members of Virginia's delegation to the Republican National Convention started to arrive in the Twin Cities Saturday. A Radisson hotel near the University of Minnesota will be home to both the Virginia and U.S. Virgin Islands delegations for the next week. Huge banners erected on the front of the hotel greeted both groups. The Republican of Virginia is providing each delegation member with a goodie bag -- courtesy of corporate sponsors CSPAN, Capitol One and others -- that includes Virginia peanuts, hand sanitizer, an alarm clock, a red-and-blue stress ball in the shape of an elephant, a small towel and a pin with the American and Virginia flags. The Republican National Committee also supplies each delegate from across the nation with its own gift -- a bag that includes a copy of Sen. John McCain's book Faith of My Fathers, a pocket guide to the U.S. Constitution,...

By Anita Kumar | August 31, 2008; 12:44 AM ET | Comments (13)

From the Floor: Final Post From Denver

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who blogged for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. The stadium was packed on Thursday night, and people were still streaming in from the long lines snaking around the building and through the parking lots. The Virginia delegation was still close to the stage, behind Illinois, so we had a prime time spot to see the speeches being made. The most poignant testimonies to the character of the Democratic nominee were the personal stories of regular citizens, union workers, and everyday people. Their reasons for supporting Senator Obama were as diverse as they were themselves, coming from all over the country and from different walks of life. The stories were sad, heartwarming, and sometimes even funny, and I think one man in particular, Barney Smith, won the heart of every person in that...

By Anne Bartlett | August 30, 2008; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

From the Floor: Energized for McCain

Kate Maxwell is a Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention who will be blogging from Minneapolis-St. Paul for Virginia Politics. She is from Midlothian in Chesterfield County. Hey everyone! I'm Kate and I'll be blogging from Minneapolis-St. Paul for the GOP National Convention. I am a junior at Virginia Tech, and at 20, I'm the youngest delegate this year from Virginia. This is not only my first convention; it's the first presidential election in which I'll be able to vote. That's pretty exciting for a college student. With all the hype about the Obama-mania among voters my age, I'm excited to show that students in Virginia are energized and motivated, and we support John McCain. I am the political director for the College Republican Federation of Virginia, and I know that students will be working all over the Commonwealth for John McCain, Jim Gilmore, and all of our...

By Anne Bartlett | August 29, 2008; 8:12 PM ET | Comments (7)

Comparing Kaine, Palin

In the weeks leading up to Sen. Barack Obama's announcement on who his running mate would be, some Virginia Republicans blasted Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) as being too inexperienced for the job. "Tim Kaine's only virtue as a potential running mate is that he would not have overshadowed Senator Obama - as he is one politician in America less prepared to lead America than Obama himself," Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick of Prince William, the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, said in a statement after Obama passed over Kaine in favor of Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.). Now that McCain has tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as his running mate, Virginia GOP leaders are praising his choice. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) said today Palin has "a record of effective service in state and local government." But Kaine has more experience than Palin does. Palin has been governor for...

By Tim Craig | August 29, 2008; 5:29 PM ET | Comments (4)

Virginia Republicans Praise Palin

Virginia Republicans respond to Sen. John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president: U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake, Virginia campaign honorary statewide co-chairwoman: "Alaska Governor Sarah Palin represents an exciting and historic pick that changes the dynamic of this presidential race. During her tenure as Alaska's top executive, Palin has established a reputation as a reformer who achieves results. A mother of five, including one son who will be deployed to Iraq in September, Governor Palin is well-respected as a leading fiscal conservative. American women everywhere will respond well to her inspiring story and her willingness to shake up the status quo. The selection of Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain's running-mate underscores the point that this fall Republicans will run as the true party of reform." Del. Christopher Saxman, Virginia campaign co-chairman: "Governor Sarah Palin is an excellent choice for Vice President. Like John McCain, she...

By Anita Kumar | August 29, 2008; 2:53 PM ET | Comments (2)

Kaine's Convention Remarks

Here are the remarks delivered by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at the Democratic National Convention tonight: I am here tonight not just as the Governor of Virginia who knows the people of my state need a better partner in the White House, but as an American who wants to see American values guiding our country again. For eight years we've seen what happens when a president lets Washington values become more important than American values. Gas prices skyrocket when the white house lets oil companies call the shots. Our children are left behind when an administration cares more about sound bites than sound schools. And middle class families are left to fend for themselves to save their grasp on the American dream. Maybe for John McCain the American dream means seven houses - and if that's your America, John McCain is your candidate. But for the rest of us, the...

By Anne Bartlett | August 29, 2008; 12:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine-O'Malley Jam Session in Denver with The Govs

It sounds like Maryland Gov. Martin O"Malley threw quite the bash Wednesday night at an Irish pub in downtown Denver, where he and other Democrats were attending the Democratic National Convention.. In what has become a staple of O'Malley parties, the governor took the stage with his guitar to sing a few songs. But, this time, O'Malley had some help from other governors in entertaining the crowd. After O'Malley started playing, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine joined him and started playing the harmonica. Earlier in the week, Kaine played the harmonica for the crowd at his own party. As if the OMalley-Kaine band was not enough, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer joined in by playing the cow bells. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano played the tamborine. "We were like the Patridge Family," O'Malley said. "The over-the-hill gang" The Rev. Jesse Jackson also attended O'Malley party, but didn't join the band....

By Anne Bartlett | August 28, 2008; 7:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kaine Speaks at Convention Tonight

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is expected to speak at about 8:15 tonight at the Democratic National Convention. He will speak in front of his largest audience when he takes the stage at Invesco Field at Mile High. About 80,000 people will pack the home of the Denver Broncos while millions more will watch on TVs across the nation. Kaine is expected to speak briefly about his background and Virginia but mostly will talk about why Americans should elect Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a friend he endorsed for president in February 2007. Obama's campaign expects Virginians to gather at more than 1,000 house parties across the state tonight to watch Obama formally accept the Democratic presidential nomination....

By Anita Kumar | August 28, 2008; 6:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Will Not Debate Gilmore on Statewide TV

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D) will not participate in the only U.S. Senate debate this fall that was to be televised statewide. Warner's opponent, former governor James S. Gilmore, had agreed to participate in the debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Virginia. "Mark Warner apparently does not want the people of Virginia to have an opportunity to understand clearly where he stands on the issues,'' Gilmore said in a statement. "I believe the people of Virginia have a right to see and hear candidates for public office discuss the issues." Warner and Gilmore participated in their first debate last month at the Homestead Resort but it was not televised and only a few hundred people traveled to western Virginia to watch it. The two have agreed to a Sept. 18 debate, sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, that will be televised locally in Northern...

By Anita Kumar | August 28, 2008; 2:10 PM ET | Comments (7)

From the Floor: Reflections on Clinton, Party Unity

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. The last two days of the convention have been phenomenal and jam-packed with fantastic speakers. Tuesday's lineup of speeches was great, and was all kicked off by Sen. Jim Webb first addressing the Virginia delegation over breakfast. He spoke of ways to get Virginia onto the Democratic political scene with plans on energy independence and protecting our troops deployed overseas, and as our newest Senator in a class of outstanding freshmen Senators, he failed to disappoint. Gov. Warner gave the keynote speech Tuesday night, addressing the country, the assembled delegation, and of course the raucous crowd of Virginia Democrats also present in our "Mark Warner" tee shirts. I don't think we could've been more proud of our former Governor than we were...

By washingtonpost.com | August 28, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (16)

Feder on TV

Judy Feder, the Democrat challenging Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) in the 10th District this fall, has taken to the airwaves. It first aired last night on cable during coverage of the Democratic National Convention....

By Sandhya Somashekhar | August 27, 2008; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (4)

McCain Gets Support from Va Democrats

Republican John McCain's presidential campaign today announced the Virginia Citizens for McCain, a coalition of Democrats and independents who support the Arizona senator for president. Christy Swanson, the group's vice chairwoman and a small business owner in Richmond, has been asked to speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. next week. "John McCain has always put his country first, above himself and above politics," said Swanson, a self-described Democrat. "He is a proven leader with the experience to lead as commander in chief from day one. John McCain's economic policies show an inherent understanding of the needs of small business owners nationwide. His 'all of the above' approach to the energy crisis is exactly what we need to obtain energy security. I will proudly campaign, and cast my vote, for John McCain." The group's chairman, Rick Gray, served as secretary of the Commonwealth under former governor John...

By Anita Kumar | August 27, 2008; 2:41 PM ET | Comments (8)

McAuliffe Considering 09 Bid for Governor

DENVER-Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a key adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) is considering running for governor of Virginia next year. McAuliffe spoke to the Virginia delegation at the Democratic National Convention this morning. After his speech in support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), McAuliffe distributed free copies of his latest book. He then spent nearly an hour signing autographs and chatting with the delegates. Rumors that McAuliffe is interested in being governor of Virginia have been percolating around the convention all week. In an interview with reporters after his speech, McAuliffe did little to dampen speculation that he was considering entering next year's race for the Democratic nomination. "I'm focused on this election, I am going full time for Senator Obama," said McAuliffe, who lives in McLean. "But I never rule anything out. ...Everyday is a new opportunity. I would like...

By Tim Craig | August 27, 2008; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (27)

From the Floor: On Camera and Online

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. Chrisi participated in a washingtonpost.com live online discussion to answer questions from readers who have been following her adventures in Denver Chrisi West: Hi everyone! It's great to be here! _______________________ Denver: Hi. I work a little up 16th street from where you are. From the outside looking in, it seems that the protests and general confusion have been well-managed, and there has been relatively little disruption. Is that the case? Chrisi West: That is definitely the case from what I see on the ground. After the convention recessed last night we passed a few protesters but everyone was respectful and controlled - just stating their views. And there's definitely nothing wrong with that! _______________________ One-liners: I'm not a Hillary supporter, but...

By washingtonpost.com | August 27, 2008; 12:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

Moran's Late Night

Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), a candidate for governor in 2009, kept Virginia delegates to the Democratic National Convention happy at a party late last night at the delegation's hotel bar. More than 100 Virginia Democrats attended the party, billed as a "Late Night With Brian Moran," including U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott and Moran's brother, Rep. James P. Moran. U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner also made an appearance, hours after he delivered the convention keynote address. "It was a nice opportunity to get everyone together after Mark's speech and celebrate Mark's speech," Brian Moran said. Brian Moran's likely opponent for the Democratic nomination next year, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) is also in Denver this week. Deeds has embraced a less visible strategy. He has not scheduled a party, but is meeting with delegates in small groups in effort to win them over for next year,...

By Tim Craig | August 27, 2008; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Drake to Speak at Republican Convention

U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake of Virginia has been tapped to speak on the first day of the Republican National Convention next week in St. Paul, Minn. Drake will speak on Monday, a day that will be focused on presidential candidate John McCain's service to his country. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will speak that same night. Drake is locked in an election battle with newcomer Glenn Nye, a Democrat running in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the Virginia Beach area and part of the Eastern Shore. Drake was targeted for defeat in 2006, but she won reelection with 51 percent of the vote, despite the Democratic tide that year....

By Anita Kumar | August 26, 2008; 4:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

From the Floor: One Day Down

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. The first day of the convention was phenomenal! The day really started after the delegation breakfast meeting, when I was lucky enough to attend the Unconventional Women panel. Female leaders including Sens. Claire McCaskill and Barbara Boxer, and Republican Governor Jane Swift discussed the issue of women in politics. There was a special spin on several of the panels, focusing on women in politics with an entire council of Colorado Girl Scouts in attendance. Chrisi West I came out of the session with a recommended reading list for myself, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissent in the Lily Ledbetter Case, and a book by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, "Rumors of Our Progress Are Greatly Exaggerated." Looks like I have some homework to do!...

By washingtonpost.com | August 26, 2008; 3:55 PM ET | Comments (1)

Gilmore Releases New Video

Hours before U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner delivers the keynote address tonight at the Democratic National Convention, his Republican opponent James S. Gilmore released a new video on YouTube. The video, Notorious Politicians and Their Lies, compares Warner to "past U.S. politicians who have lied their way in or out of office, reminding voters of all the promises Warner made about not raising taxes and how Warner broke his word," according to a press release. "Mark Warner broke a series of promises he made while running for governor,'' said Ana Gamonal, Gilmore's spokeswoman. "Now, liberal Mark Warner is telling the people of Virginia he is bipartisan. Mark Warner cannot be trusted and his keynote speech at the DNC Convention will be the beginning of the end of this false notion he has been working so hard to sell to the voters." The video features former President Richard Nixon, former...

By Anita Kumar | August 26, 2008; 1:22 PM ET | Comments (4)

Kaine Will Appear on The Daily Show

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will appear at 11 p.m. tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The award-winning satirical television program airs on Comedy Central. Kaine, who is in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, will spend the day hiking with his family, taping the show in the afternoon and then attending convention activities tonight. Former governor Mark R. Warner is expected to give the convention keynote address at about 9:30 p.m....

By Anita Kumar | August 26, 2008; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Charles Barkley Shows Up at Kaine Party

DENVER--Former Basketball star Charles Barkley made an unscheduled visit at a party for the Virginia delegation that was sponsored by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). Barkley mingled with the crowd for more than an hour, posing for pictures with delegates and numerous elected officials, including Kaine and former governor and Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder. But Barkley almost didn't get into the party, which was held at a bar on Denver's bustling 16th Street Mall, according to Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax). Sickles said Larry Roberts, Kaine's chief counsel, initially turned away Barkley, who is 6-6 and most recently played for the Houston Rockets. Roberts, who was working the door, apparently didn't recognize Barkley and his entourage, Sickles said. "Larry Roberts said you can't come in, it's a private party," Sickles said. But Sickles said he recognized Barkley and said, "I think that is Charles Barkley."...

By Tim Craig | August 26, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mark Warner Rallies Va. Delegates

DENVER -- Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner rallied Virginia Democrats this morning as he prepared to deliver the keynote address at the national convention Tuesday night. During a breakfast for the Virginia delegation, Warner told the delegates he is "98 percent done" with his speech, which he said would focus on restoring a bipartisan approach to governance and his strong support for Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign. "I just got to make sure I hit it," Warner said of his speech....

By Anne Bartlett | August 25, 2008; 5:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

"The View Was Stunning"

DENVER -- Virginia delegates to the Democratic National Convention had one of the hottest tickets in Denver last night. The delegation traveled by bus about 20 miles outside of Denver to attend a free concert featuring Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and Sugar Land at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which has been named one of the best concert pavilion's in the world. Before the concert, the Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania delegations attended a reception sponsored by Dominion. The reception was held at Red Rocks' visitors center, which features sweeping views of the rocks, a valley and the Rocky Mountains. Dominion provided a lavish buffet of barbecue, chicken strips, beans, mashed potatoes, hot dogs, corn on the cob and local Colorado peaches and smores for desert. There was also an open bar....

By Tim Craig | August 25, 2008; 1:33 PM ET | Comments (1)

From the Floor: Environmentalism and Sheryl Crow

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. It was a late night at Red Rocks last night, where music and environmentalism met with Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, along with speakers like Robert Kennedy Jr., our own Gov.Tim Kaine, and William McDonough, author of "Cradle to Cradle." So after an evening enjoying Colorado's natural beauty (and some good music), the first 8:30 a.m. breakfast delegation meeting this morning was necessary, but early. Governor Mark Warner addressed the delegates at breakfast, and got everyone excited for a day of events. Apparently Virginia has prime seating for the events in the Pepsi Center, right behind Illinois! Planning out my day of events is turning out to be more complicated than I first thought it would be. The Virginia...

By washingtonpost.com | August 25, 2008; 12:39 PM ET | Comments (12)

Kaine Introduces Dave Matthews

DENVER -- Gov. Timothy M. Kaine introduced musician Dave Matthews before a packed house Sunday night at a concert at the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre to kickoff the Democratic National Convention. Red Rocks is an acoustic-friendly concert pavilion surrounded by 20-story rocks located on a bluff overlooking the city of Denver, as well as dozens of miles of farmland to east of the city. Kaine's fiery speech reminded some of his energetic remarks in support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the Virginia Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner two days before the Feb. 12 primary. "Who needs change?" Kaine asked about 8,000 people who were seated in the audience....

By Tim Craig | August 25, 2008; 5:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

Webb Will Arrive in Denver Today

DENVER -- U.S. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) will arrive in Denver later today to attend his first Democratic National Convention. Webb's arrival will highlight one of the most significant political transformations in a generation, considering he was a self-described Republican just eight years ago. But Webb has a packed schedule over the next 48 hours. Webb is sponsoring a breakfast for the Virginia delegation tomorrow. Later in the day, Webb will attend a luncheon sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to his aides. Webb will then do a round of national media interviews and mingle with Virginia delegates on the convention floor tomorrow evening, the same night that U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner (D) is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the convention. Webb plans to leave Denver Wednesday morning so he can travel to Phoenix, where he will deliver the keynote address at an American...

By Tim Craig | August 25, 2008; 4:39 AM ET | Comments (2)

From the Floor: En Route to Denver

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Alexandria, in Fairfax County. My adventure to Denver began early this morning, when my plane finally took off from the runway at 6 a.m. It had been a long time coming, and although I'd only slept for about three hours last night I was still fired up and ready to go when my alarm went off at 4 a.m. My fellow delegate and friend, Keith, and I were on a flight with a transfer in Dallas, where we met some of our fellow travelers and Democrats. We could spot them in the airport by the Clinton and Obama buttons, T-shirts and hats they all seemed to be wearing. And those that weren't wearing campaign gear identified themselves as speakers or press, also headed to Denver. And...

By washingtonpost.com | August 24, 2008; 8:08 PM ET | Comments (4)

Kaine's Big Audience

DENVER -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will likely speak at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, when Illinois Sen. Barack Obama officially accepts the nomination at Invesco Field before a crowd of 75,000, Democrats close to the governor said. Kaine said he doesn't know what time he will speak at the stadium, but he finished his speech last night. Former Vice-President Al Gore is also scheduled to speak Thursday. Kaine said today it will be the largest audience he has ever spoken to. Though he will not be Obama's running mate, Kaine is still getting plenty of national attention. He appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning, and has another round of national media interviews scheduled for Monday night. Because so many media outlets have been clamoring to book Kaine, his political advisers have dispatched additional press liaisons to Denver to help him. Jeff Tiller, who served as...

By Tim Craig | August 24, 2008; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (3)

Va Republicans Blast Biden

Virginia Republicans came out swinging this morning at Sen. Barack Obama's pick to be his running mate. The quick response is another indication that the GOP is not taking Virginia for granted, even though Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will not be on the ticket. Until recently, it was Virginia Democrats who were known for their quick response in the race between Obama and Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. Here are statements released this morning from McCain's leadership team in Virginia: Del. Chris Saxman, campaign co-chairman: "By selecting Joe Biden for vice president, Barack Obama has shown voters that not even Governor Tim Kaine can hide the fact that he is out of touch with the core values held by the hard-working families of Virginia. Virginians deserve a president and a vice president who understand that we need a comprehensive solution to the energy crisis, lower taxes for Virginia's...

By Anita Kumar | August 23, 2008; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (65)

Kaine Responds to Obama's VP Pick

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who was on the short list to become Sen. Barack Obama's running mate, released the following statement this morning after Sen. Joe Biden was selected to be the vice presidential candidate. "I am very excited that Senator Obama has selected Senator Biden to be his running mate. Senator Biden is a tremendous leader and a great complement to Senator Obama and his candidacy. He has worked as a committed public servant, has a proven track record, and understands the complex challenges facing our nation. "The Obama-Biden ticket provides the United States with a new and meaningful dialogue with world leaders and will improve America's standing with our allies and the global community....

By Anita Kumar | August 23, 2008; 9:31 AM ET | Comments (51)

Virginia Democrats Target McCain's Wealth

The Virginia Democratic Party will try today to localize the controversy over Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) not knowing how many houses he owns by holding a press conference outside of McCain's Crystal City condominium. Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria) and Peter Rousselot, chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Party, will speak at the event at McCain's condominium building, which the party said in a statement is "the most enviable address in Virginia." "Englin, Rousselot and others will ask how McCain can represent middle-class families who are struggling with the rising cost of living, soaring gas prices and the foreclosure crisis," the state party said in a news release. The effort is apparently part of a national strategy by Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill) presidential campaign to keep the pressure on McCain by localizing the house story, which sidetracked the GOP campaign yesterday. But efforts by Virginia Democrats to make the...

By Tim Craig | August 22, 2008; 9:06 AM ET | Comments (7)

DNC Transfers $374,000 to State Party

The Virginia Democratic Party picked up $744,000 last month for its efforts this year in support of federal candidates, two-thirds of which came from the Democratic National Committee and Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign. Campaign finance reports filed yesterday show the state Democratic party's coordinated campaign received $374,000 from the national party last month. Obama's campaign also transferred $131,000 to the state party. The state party also received $76,000 from two joint fundraising committees it set up with Democratic Senate candidate Mark R. Warner (D). The party's remaining money came from 30 individual contributions, including $10,000 from Bernard Rapoport of Waco, Texas, who made millions in the insurance industry. The party also collected $5,000 checks from the Sheetworkers, International Association of Firefighters, National Air Traffic Controllers and American Federation of State County & Municipal Workers unions. Despite all the national money, the Virginia Democratic Party still spent $33,000 more...

By Tim Craig | August 21, 2008; 9:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

McDonnell Criticizes Obama

As Sen. Barack Obama spent his second straight day in Virginia, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) blasted the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for his lack of experience. "Senator Obama is clearly an historic figure and an articulate spokesman for his party but he is perhaps the most inexperienced person to run for president of the United States,'' he said. McDonnell, who will run for governor next year, told reporters that Obama is "wrong" for Virginia on the key issues of national security, taxes and spending and energy....

By Anita Kumar | August 21, 2008; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

McCain's Bus Travels to Virginia

The Straight Talk Express -- Sen. John McCain's campaign bus -- will visit the Bristol Motor Speedway Friday and Saturday to help register people to vote. McCain will not be coming to Virginia this weekend or anytime before the Republican national convention, which starts Sept. 1, Virginia officials say. The bus will be at the display area of the Speedway during the Food City 250 and Sharpie 500. Details are below...

By Anita Kumar | August 21, 2008; 1:48 PM ET | Comments (2)

From the Floor: Meet Your Delegate

Chrisi West is a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention who will be blogging for Virginia Politics from Denver. She is from Fairfax County's Alexandria neighborhood. When I attended my first informal meeting of Alexandria Obama supporters back in March 2007, I figured it was my first foray into politics and I'd probably just end up handing out flyers on election day or something. No big deal. I couldn't have been more wrong....

By washingtonpost.com | August 21, 2008; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (9)

Moran Offsets Delegation's Carbon Footprint

Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) has purchased "carbon offsets to neutralize the carbon footprint" of the Virginia delegation while at the Democratic National Convention in Denver next week. A carbon footprint measures the affect human activity has on the environment through greenhouse gases. Moran, who is not a delegate but will be attending the convention, purchased carbon offsets that will be invested in renewable energy through Native Energy. "Democrats have a long track record as champions of our environment," Moran said. "Leaving a clean and healthy world for the next generation is both a moral obligation and an economic necessity. It's important we show our commitment to this cause with both our words and our actions."...

By Anita Kumar | August 21, 2008; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Even Republicans Are Waiting By The Phone

Richmond's political chattering class is on edge as it relates to Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill) expected imminent announcement on who his vice-presidential candidate will be. Numerous Republicans in Richmond have signed up to receive the text message from Obama's campaign announcing his selection. "I signed up last night, I couldn't take it anymore," said one senior GOP staffer, who declined to be identified so they are not outed for now being on Obama's mailing list....

By Tim Craig | August 21, 2008; 12:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Just Pictures, Nothing More

Several members of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) senior staff accompanied him to the Omni Hotel in Richmond this morning, which was where Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) stayed last night. But it doesn't appear as if the visit by Kaine's staff, including his communications director and chief legal counsel, had anything to do with the rampant speculation surrounding Obama's choice of a running mate. "We had our picture taken with him," said Gordon Hickey, Kaine's press secretary. "We weren't involved in anything else. We just stood there, had our picture taken and we left...(Obama) came walking in, we stood there, had our pictures and he left." Also this morning, Kaine appeared on CNN's American Morning. Kaine's remarks during the interview have been picked up by media outlets across the country because he mocked Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) apparent confusion yesterday over how many houses he owns. Kaine is now...

By Tim Craig | August 21, 2008; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

Jody Wagner Staffs Up for LG Race

Jody W. Wagner, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor next year, announced today her senior staff, most of whom have close ties to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). Mo Elleithee, who most recently served as a senior national spokesman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presidential campaign, will become a senior adviser to Wagner's campaign. Elleithee served as Mark R. Warner's press secretary during his 2001 campaign for governor. Elleithee also served as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) communications director during his 2005 campaign. Veteran Democratic pollster Pete Brodnitz will be Wagner's pollster. Brodnitz is also Kaine's pollster. Until recently, Brodnitz had worked for Wagner's opponent for the Democratic nomination, Jon Bowerbank, according to a statement his campaign put out recently. It's unclear why Brodnitz left Bowerbank's campaign, but Wagner is Kaine's former Secretary of Finance. Alan Moore, a former executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party, will handle Wagner's...

By Tim Craig | August 20, 2008; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

Obama Airs New Ad in Virginia

Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, released a new television ad today in key states, including Virginia. The 30-second ad, Three Times, touts Obama's plan to cut taxes for middle-class families while criticizing Republican Sen. John McCain's plan to target billions in tax cuts to big corporations, according to a press release. The ad will air in Virginia, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. ">...

By Anita Kumar | August 20, 2008; 2:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

GOP Finds Issue in Warner Speech

Virginia Republicans are stepping up their efforts to tie U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner to the national Democratic party and Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. The strategy of linking Warner to liberals in Washington has long been a part of the GOP playbook. But Warner, apparently confident of his big lead in the polls, gave the GOP new ammunition by agreeing to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention next week. Privately, some GOP insiders have been frustrated that Warner's GOP opponent, former governor James S. Gilmore III, has appeared curiously silent as it relates to Warner's speech next week. Unwilling to wait for Gilmore to make the attack on his own, the Virginia Republican Party is taking the lead in trying to link Warner to national Democrats. In a lengthy memo sent out Tuesday night to GOP supporters and reporters, Del. Jeffrey...

By Tim Craig | August 20, 2008; 1:01 PM ET | Comments (2)

McCain Attacks Obama in New Radio Ad in VA

As Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) begins a two-day presidential campaign swing across Virginia, his GOP opponent has released a hard-hitting radio ad in the state over the issue of taxes and spending. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive GOP nominee for president, accuses Obama in the ad of wanting to raise taxes to pay for an ambitious new round of government spending. "Celebrities like to spend their millions. Barack Obama is no different," a narrator says. "Only it's your money he wants to spend. Obama's got plans. Big plans, for your money." Taxes and spending have long been potent political issues in Virginia, where many residents take pride in the state's reputation as a historically low-tax state....

By Tim Craig | August 20, 2008; 10:36 AM ET | Comments (1)

Kaine, Obama Will Stump in Va. Thursday

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will join Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday at a campaign event in suburban Richmond, the Obama campaign announced today. Obama plans to hold an invitation-only town hall meeting in Chesterfield County, which President Bush won with 63 percent of the vote in 2004 but which ran out of Democratic ballots during the Feb. 12 primary because so many people turned out to vote. After the Chesterfield event, Obama will travel to Chesapeake in Hampton Roads for another town-hall meeting. Kaine, who has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate, is not scheduled to attend the Chesapeake event, according to the Obama campaign. Campaign officials say no other events in Virginia are scheduled for that day. But Obama will be in Martinsville Wednesday morning with Democratic Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner. He will then appear with Sen. James Webb (D-Va) in Lynchburg on Wednesday evening. Kaine...

By Tim Craig | August 19, 2008; 6:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Leads in Loudoun, Prince William, Davis Says

U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va) said today internal Republican polls show Arizona Sen. John McCain has a "substantial lead" in both Loudoun and Prince William counties, which are expected to be the swing counties in the fight for Virginia's 13 electoral votes. Davis joined U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va), who is vowing to campaign vigorously for McCain over the next three months in Virginia, on a 35-minute conference call with the state capitol press corps. "Our polling today shows McCain well outside the margin of error in both of those counties," said Davis, who is helping to head up McCain's efforts in Virginia. "But they will be battlegrounds, I give Senator Obama credit for coming in trying to fight it out there for every vote." Davis and Warner said they were confident McCain can beat Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) statewide. They said McCain will run strong among veterans and do...

By Tim Craig | August 19, 2008; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (23)

Bolling Ready to Take Over From Kaine

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) has begun cursory, internal discussions with advisors about assuming the role of governor should Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) be selected as Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) running mate this week. "In the event it comes to it, Bill is prepared to assume his constitutional responsibility as governor," said Randy Marcus, Bolling's chief of staff. "There has been due prudence, and we have had some initial thoughts about how we would handle things." If Kaine were to join Obama on the ticket, Kaine would only have to step down as governor if he and Obama won the Nov. 4 general election. But some Republicans say Kaine, whose term ends in January 2010, should consider stepping down immediately if he is selected given the fact the governor himself said Monday "difficult" decisions will have to made this fall because the state is facing a potentially big budget...

By Tim Craig | August 19, 2008; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (6)

John Warner Set to Enter the Fray

Has Democratic Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner finally met his match when it comes to dabbling in the presidential contest in Virginia? On Wednesday, Warner will campaign with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in Martinsville. Democrats hope Warner, a popular former governor, can help Obama win over working-class voters in Southside. Before either Obama or Warner step in Martinsville, U.S. Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va) will have had his say as it relates to his support for Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) presidential campaign. John Warner, who is retiring from the Senate after 28 years, plans to join U.S Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va) on a conference call Tuesday afternoon to "discuss Virginia's significance in the 2008 presidential election and Barack Obama's visit to Virginia," according to the McCain campaign. In a Washington Post poll last fall, John Warner had a 65 percent approval rating. Mark Warner, who is trying to succeed...

By Tim Craig | August 18, 2008; 7:19 PM ET | Comments (1)

Webb to Campaign With Obama in Lynchburg

Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) will campaign with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg, according to party sources. Obama (Ill.) has apparently scheduled a stop in Lynchburg, which is home to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, after he campaigns with U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner (D) in Martinsville. But Webb won't be Obama's choice of a running mate, Webb aides say. Last month, Webb sent out a statement saying he did not want Obama to consider him as a potential running mate. "He has said he is not interested in the position and is out of the running," said Jessica Smith, Webb's spokeswoman. After his Lynchburg stop, Obama is expected to spend the night in Richmond....

By Tim Craig | August 18, 2008; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Ruling Yet In Death of Webb Aide

Three weeks after a 26-year-old aide to Sen. James Webb (D) was found dead alongside a highway in Botetourt County in Southwest Virginia, the cause of his death remains a mystery. The Roanoke Times reported on Saturday that the State Medical Examiner's Office still has not released its findings on the circumstances surrounding the death of Fred Hutchins, who headed Webb's Roanoke office. Police believe Hutchins, who was a rising star in the Virginia Democratic Party, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, but it's unclear whether foul play was involved. The newspaper reported the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office has executed at least two search warrants in the case, and authorities have retrieved a number of personal items from Hutchins' condominium....

By Tim Craig | August 18, 2008; 2:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

GOP Raises Concerns about Kaine, VP Speculation

Given the state's budget shortfall and an expected painful round of spending cuts this fall, Virginia Republican leaders said today Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) should consider whether he will step down as governor if he is selected by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this month to be his running mate in the presidential race. Kaine's four-year term ends in January 2010. If Kaine were to leave office early, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, would become governor. GOP leaders made their remarks after Kaine told the House and Senate money committees "difficult" spending decisions will have to made this fall. If Obama were to choose Kaine, the governor would most likely be expected to be on the campaign trail between now and the Nov. 4 election. "It is going to be problematic," said House Majority Whip M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights). "I am not going to immediately jump up and...

By Tim Craig | August 18, 2008; 1:31 PM ET | Comments (15)

If Not Wednesday, What About Thursday?

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) won't be with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Wednesday when the presumptive Democratic nominee for president campaigns with U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner in Southside. In an interview today, Kaine said he will be focused on being governor that day. Kaine, a possible vice-presidential candidate, is holding a "community cabinet day" in Hampton Roads while Obama and Warner attend the invitation-only town hall meeting in Martinsville. But Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray reported today that Obama also plans to be in Virginia on Thursday, although the stop has yet to be officially announced by the campaign. Kaine said he doesn't know if he will see Obama on Thursday. Obama could announce his vice-presidential candidate sometime this week. "Schedules are in flux," Kaine said. "Only the Martinsville event has been announced, but Wednesday I am really tied up wall-to-wall with this cabinet community day." Kaine...

By Tim Craig | August 17, 2008; 9:29 PM ET | Comments (14)

Templeton Gives Va GOP $80,000

The Republican Party of Virginia received a big check recently from John M Templeton Jr., who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican and conservative causes over the years. The son of the late finance guru Sir John Templeton, John M. Templeton Jr. of Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania gave the Virginia Republican Party $80,000 on July 30, according to the State Board of Elections. He appears to have made the largest contribution from an individual to the Virgnia Republican Party since 2000, according to information from the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics. John M. Templeton Jr. is one of the founding members of Freedom's Watch, an organization that seeks to be the conservative version of Moveon.org. Freedom's Watch has aired millions of dollars in television ads in support of the war of Iraq. The group also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars...

By Tim Craig | August 17, 2008; 2:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obama, Warner Set Southside Visit

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will campaign with U.S. Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner Wednesday in southern Virginia, Obama's presidential campaign announced today. Obama and Warner, a former governor who takes credit for bringing more jobs to economically depressed communities in southern Virginia, will hold an invitation-only town hall meeting in Martinsville that focuses on economic issues. It will be Obama's third campaign swing through Virginia since he clinched the Democratic nomination in June. Last week, Obama announced that Warner will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention later this month. Although Obama has yet to announce his running mate, Warner said in June under no circumstance would he be the vice-presidential candidate this year. Warner's GOP opponent in the Senate race, former governor James S. Gilmore III, will also be reaching out to so-called working families on Wednesday. Gilmore will make 11 stops in central Virginia to promote...

By Tim Craig | August 16, 2008; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Jody Wagner Enters LG Race

Jody W. Wagner, who had served as Finance Secretary under Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), has officially entered the 2009 race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor . Wagner's decision to run will likely set up a costly battle for the nomination between her and Jon Bowerbank, a wealthy businessman from Russell County who has also announced his candidacy. C. Richard Cranwell, the chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, is also considering entering the race. Wagner, who hails from Virginia Beach, would likely have an advantage in a three-way race because Cranwell and Bowerbank are both from Southwest Virginia. Wagner is also expected to be the only female candidate for statewide office next year. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) in the general election. But if Kaine is tapped to be Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) running mate, and the Democratic ticket wins...

By Tim Craig | August 15, 2008; 3:29 PM ET | Comments (5)

Will Meet The Press be a Preview of VP Debate?

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will have one last chance this weekend to prove to a national audience he is an effective surrogate for Sen.Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the campaign trail. Kaine will face off against Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) this Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press. Kaine is mentioned as a possible running mate for Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Obama is expected to announce his running mate sometime next week. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is reportedly considering Jindal as his running mate....

By Tim Craig | August 15, 2008; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (22)

Kaine, Warner Raise $500,000 for Virginia Democrats

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and U.S. Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner teamed up tonight to raise a half million dollars to support Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential campaign in Virginia as well as the state's Democratic congressional candidates, according to party officials. Kaine and Warner headlined a high-dollar fundraiser for the Virginia Democratic Party's coordinated campaign, which was held at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. The state party's haul from tonight's event will be added to the $729,000 it had in its federal account a month ago. The Virginia Republican Party, meanwhile, was essentially broke a month ago, reporting $101,000 in the bank for federal races but also $91,000 in unpaid bills. But the GOP ground game in Virginia this year is largely being financed by the Republican National Committee, which is flush with cash. A tiny portion of the GOP money was spent tonight, when the...

By Tim Craig | August 14, 2008; 11:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sparks Fly Over Voter Registration

The chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee filed a complaint today with the State Board of Elections alleging one of its Republican members tried to intimidate supporters of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the Asian American Festival in Reston on Saturday. Harold Pyon, the board member named in the complaint, strongly denies the allegations. He said in an interview today he is considering a counter-complaint because of what he called the Fairfax Democratic Committee's "dirty" tactics. "Maybe I counter sue those people. They are lying," Pyon said. Scott A. Surovell, the chairman of the county party, alleges in the complaint that Pyon, the Republican on the three-member board, approached Obama supporters who were trying to register new voters at the festival. The complaint alleges that Pyon told the Obama volunteers they cannot keep voter registration forms on the same table as campaign literature. Surovell alleges Pyon, the board member,...

By Tim Craig | August 14, 2008; 7:19 PM ET | Comments (8)

Kaine Hopes to Boost Obama in Virginia

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will spend the weekend stumping for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, across Virginia. Kaine, a potential vice-presidential candidate, is scheduled to attend four town hall meetings in support of Obama on Saturday in Washington's fast-growing outer suburbs. Kaine will also go door-to-door in Richmond on Sunday to try to identify Democratic-leaning voters. It will be Kaine's first big push on behalf of Obama in Virginia since the Feb. 12 primary. According to recent polls, Obama narrowly trails Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, in the state but Kaine expects a close race come the fall. But it's unclear whether Kaine, whose approval rating fluctuates depending on the poll, can help Obama carry a state that President Bush won by 8 percentage points in 2004....

By Tim Craig | August 14, 2008; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Allen Emerges as Top McCain Surrogate

Former governor and U.S. senator George Allen (R) is emerging as a top surrogate for Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in Virginia, a potentially risky strategy for the GOP as it looks to recover from its losses in 2006. Earlier today, Allen appeared with Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.) at an event in Virginia Beach to discuss McCain's energy plans. Last month, the McCain campaign had Allen's wife, Susan, give the campaign's official response to an event Sen. Barack Obama held for women in Fairfax County. Some Virginia Democrats are bewildered by the McCain campaign's strategy of putting Allen front and center of its general election campaign in the state. Allen lost his 2006 bid for reelection by about 8,000 votes following a series of well publicized gaffes on the campaign trail. Allen lost to Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) largely because his support collapsed in vote-rich Northern Virginia. McCain will...

By Tim Craig | August 13, 2008; 6:25 PM ET | Comments (2)

Cranwell May Run for LG

C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, is considering running for lieutenant governor next year. Cranwell, a 30-year fixture in the House of Delegates who plans to step down from his post when his term expires in 2009, told friends that he is considering running for the Democratic nomination in 2009. House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) said he will wait to decide who to support until Cranwell makes his decision. "I learned a lot from him,'' Armstrong said. "He's one of the best legislators I have known."...

By Anita Kumar | August 13, 2008; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Opens 5 More Va Offices

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign announced today it is opening five more offices across Virginia, meaning it will soon have 33 separate regional headquarters. All but one of the new offices will be located in a fairly sparsely populated area, another sign that Obama is banking on winning over new voters through neighbor to neighbor organizing. The new offices will be located in Suffolk, a fast-growing suburb in southeastern Virginia; Tappahannock in the Northern Neck; Culpeper in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; and Chase City and Farmville, both located in Southside. Obama has now opened more offices in Virginia then he has in Pennsylvania, even though Pennsylvania has 5 million more residents. Obama's 33 Virginia offices rival the number he is planning to open in Ohio, which has long been considered the key battleground state in a presidential contest....

By Tim Craig | August 13, 2008; 2:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Competes Against Redskins, Not McCain, on Aug. 28

Sen. Barack Obama may find it won't be easy to get Virginia voters' attention on the night he is scheduled to give his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. On the night of Aug 28, when Obama will be officially accepting the Democratic nomination at Invesco Field in Denver, the Washington Redskins will be playing their last exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedEx Field. The game will be televised nationally on NBC. The Redskins game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., earlier than usual in effort to try to accommodate Obama. NBC has scheduled the Redskins' game to air from 7 to 10 p.m. The network then plans to cover Obama's speech from 10 to 11 p.m. So what happens if the Redskins' game drags on past 10 p.m.?...

By Tim Craig | August 13, 2008; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (4)

Straight Talk Express Stops in Va. Tomorrow

Arizona Sen. John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" bus will barrel through Virginia tomorrow, helping to kickoff a series of campaign events across the state that will culminate in 90 house parties tomorrow night in support of McCain. McCain's legendary bus, which has been garnering media attention since he first ran for president eight years ago, will make an appearance tomorrow morning on the Richmond CBS 6 morning show. McCain won't be on the bus, but Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R ) will be filling in to tout the GOP message. The bus will then travel to Alexandria home of Debbie and Bill Spagnoli-Woodruff. The couple will be hosting one of 90 house parties across Virginia as part of the first "McCain Nation" national event day. People who attend one of the house parties will get a campaign briefing and hear from Cindy McCain and her brother-in-law, Joe McCain....

By Tim Craig | August 13, 2008; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (1)

Virginians Can Ask Questions in Denver

Virginians will have a chance to have their questions answered live at the Democratic National Convention or online later this month. "As Barack Obama has said, this is not our Convention - this is America 's Convention," said Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "And now, at a critical moment in our history, Americans will have their concerns addressed, challenges listened to and their questions answered live by our country's leaders." An open call where Virginians can record questions will take place tomorrow morning in Richmond. Text and video questions also can be submitted online at DemConvention.com/townhall through Aug. 27. The convention, which will take place Aug. 25-28 in Denver, will feature a nightly segment in which elected leaders, national policy experts and others will respond to voters' questions live and online....

By Anita Kumar | August 13, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Warner Becomes Face of National Democratic Party

U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner's decision to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention later this month means Warner's own political future this year can now be linked to the national Democratic party. Ever since he announced his Senate campaign late last year, Warner has sought to put some distance between himself and Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Warner appeared with Obama in June in Southwest Virginia, and has touted his candidacy in various interviews. But Warner has at times stressed he is running his own race as he tried to respond to efforts by his GOP opponent, former governor James S. Gilmore, to tie him to Obama and national Democrats. At a debate with Gilmore last month, Warner mentioned Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, more than he mentioned Obama. Now, Gilmore will have images of Warner standing...

By Anita Kumar | August 13, 2008; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bob Barr Campaigns for President in Va

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee for U.S. President, stopped in Richmond for a few hours today to spread the word of his longshot candidacy. Barr, who was accompanied by his son Derek, said he is running because he sees a "dramatic undercutting of liberty" in the United States. "If it was simply to play a spoiler role, I would not be doing this,'' he said. "I have a lot of better things to do." Barr said he is polling at six percent nationally. He said he expects support from Republicans opposed to Sen. John McCain, blue-collar Reagan Democrats and young people who may be interested in politics for the first time....

By Anita Kumar | August 12, 2008; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Democrats' Bus Tour Heads to Va

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will continue his national voter registration campaign this week in Virginia. He will be joined on some Northern Virginia stops by Washington Wizards basketball player Etan Thomas. The "Register for Change" bus tour started in President Bush's backyard in Crawford, Texas and is traveling cross country until the Democratic National Convention late this month. Dean, a former presidential candidate and Vermont governor, has been to several states, including Louisiana, North Carolina and Georgia, in recent weeks. Details of the Virginia events are below:...

By Anita Kumar | August 12, 2008; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

Kal Penn Will Campaign for Obama in Va

Actor Kal Penn, who currently appears in the FOX medical drama House will visit Northern Virginia today and tomorrow to campaign for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Penn will meet with volunteers and participate in phone banks at offices of the Campaign for Change, an offshoot of Obama's campaign funded by the Democratic National Committee, in Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Centreville, Fairfax City and Arlington and Fredericksburg. Penn also will headline a local Asian Americans For Obama And South Asians For Obama event and join Young Democrats canvassing in Richmond. Penn had a recurring role in the TV show, 24 last year. He is probably best known for his role in the movie, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle . A full schedule of his events is below:...

By Anita Kumar | August 11, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Kaine Talks about Obama on "Face the Nation"

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) appeared on CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer Sunday to answer questions about Sen. John McCain's recent ads, the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver and whether Sen. Barack Obama should be doing better in the polls. "I would rather not spin Barack's lead in the polls as anything negative. He's ahead in the polls,'' Kaine said. "Take Virginia as an example. Virginia is a state that has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1964. (Recent polls) have Barack Obama narrowly ahead in Virginia, which is basically outstanding." "I think the Obama campaign has had a healthy underdog attitude since I signed on..." Kaine said. "They always thought this would be tough. They always thought they would be close but we are feeling very very good about where the senator is in the polls." Kaine, an Obama friend and one of his...

By Anita Kumar | August 11, 2008; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Airs New Ad in Virginia

John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, began airing a new ad on TV Friday in key states, including Virginia. The ad, entitled "Painful," highlights presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's record of voting to raise taxes on middle class families and his tax increase proposals. "The last thing we need to do is raise taxes that force families to make even tougher choices with less money in their pockets,'' according to a press release....

By Anita Kumar | August 10, 2008; 8:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

DNC Targets Cantor and Other Possible VPs

The Democratic National Committee launched a new website The Next Cheney to target Sen. John McCain's potential running mates, including U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. The website criticizes Cantor for voting with President Bush 92.5 percent during the 110 Congress and having ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Cantor, 45, chief deputy minority whip in the House, has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice in recent days. He is one of seven vice presidential candidates listed on the website, including Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Sen. John Thune and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Cantor's office declined to comment....

By Anita Kumar | August 7, 2008; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (4)

More Than 1,000 Attend Obama Fundraiser

About 1,200 people attended a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama last night in downtown Norfolk at the elegant Harrison Opera House adorned with glittering chandeliers and sweeping staircases. The headliner, Michelle Obama, described the November presidential election between her husband and Republican Sen. John McCain as a decision between "the world as it is and the world as it should be." "Our job as Americans is to narrow the gap between those two ideas," she said. "Do we settle for the world as it is or fight for the world as it should be?" The fundraiser was hosted by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, who are on a family vacation with their children this week in nearby Virginia Beach. Kaine's apperance fueled further speculation about his vice presidential chances....

By Anita Kumar | August 7, 2008; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (53)

Kaine Appears on CNN for Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) took a break from his family vacation at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach to appear on CNN today for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Kaine talked about the Iraq War, offshore oil drilling and the possibility of being Obama's running mate. Kaine, an Obama friend and one of his campaign's national co-chairmen, said he is not running for anything but that he would do everything he could to help Obama win the White House in November. "My highest and best use is trying to be a good governor and trying to help Sen. Obama in Virginia, which as you know traditionally hasn't gotten a lot of attention in presidential years," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on the "Situation Room."...

By Anita Kumar | August 6, 2008; 8:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Another Democrat Will Run Against Wittman

A month after the Democratic candidate dropped out of the race to challenge U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R), the party has found someone else to run in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Prince William County. Bill Day, a mental health counselor from Warrenton who lost to Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, (R-Prince William) in 2007, will run for the seat in November. "With Bill Day responding to the call to service, we now have a Democratic candidate who can join with Barack Obama and Mark Warner to bring change to our district, to our Commonwealth and to our country,'' said Suzette Matthews, chairwoman of the First Congressional District....

By Anita Kumar | August 6, 2008; 7:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

MCain Airs New TV Ad in Virginia

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, began airing a new ad on TV today in key states, including Virginia. The ad, entitled "Family," accuses Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, of supporting higher taxes and increased government spending that will hurt small businesses and cost jobs. "While Barack Obama is the biggest celebrity in the world, that doesn't do much to help American families who are hurting from higher gas prices and the threat of home foreclosure,'' according to a press release....

By Anita Kumar | August 6, 2008; 7:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Short Hiatus

Starting at noon today, we'll be taking a break from posting here and turning off comments for approximately 24 hours. This is to allow for scheduled software upgrades and other maintenance. We appreciate your readership and feedback, and look forward to hearing from you again tomorrow....

By Washington Post Editors | August 5, 2008; 9:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

Michelle Obama to Speak to Military Spouses

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign released details about Michelle Obama's visit to Norfolk tomorrow to speak to military spouses. She will use her first visit to Virginia to talk about the challenges facing military families and how her husband, the presumptive Democratic nominee, plans to support them if he becomes president. The campaign has ensured Obama will have a friendly crowd. The event is by invitation only....

By Anita Kumar | August 5, 2008; 8:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Campaign To Hold Town Halls in Virginia

This week, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign will hold a series of town hall meetings in Virginia to describe the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's plans for restoring the economy and creating jobs. Obama's economic advisors, members of Congress and local elected leaders will serve as panelists. They include: Daniel Sepulveda, who handles economic policy issues for Obama's U.S. Senate office, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) and Martinsville Vice Mayor Kimble Reynolds. The events will begin tomorrow. Details are below:...

By Anita Kumar | August 4, 2008; 4:24 PM ET | Comments (7)

Cantor Won't Talk About the VP Slot

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, a rising star in the Republican leadership in Congress, told reporters today that he would not talk about possibly being considered by Sen. John McCain as a running mate. "This is a press conference about the energy plan and the difference between the vision Barack Obama has and John McCain,'' Cantor told reporters on a conference call. In recent days, several media sources have reported that McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, had asked Cantor for personal documents used to vet him to be considered vice president. Cantor, 45, chief deputy minority whip in the House, has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for weeks and has increasingly been a surrogate for McCain on television news shows....

By Anita Kumar | August 4, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (11)

Democrats Register Voters At Gas Stations Today

The Virginia Campaign for Change, an offshoot of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign funded by the Democratic National Committee, will register voters at gas stations across the state today. State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris will participate in the events, which will take place in Arlington, Charlottesville and Richmond. "Motorists who are fed up with sky-high oil company profits made on the backs of consumers paying higher prices at the pump will have the opportunity to register to vote -- and help Barack Obama put in place a new energy policy that will give relief to middle class families and break our addiction to foreign oil,'' according to a press release. Obama has talked about providing families with a $1,000 middle-class tax cut and spending $150 billion in renewable and other clean sources of energy. Details of the events are below:...

By Anita Kumar | August 4, 2008; 8:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wagner Resigns as State Finance Secretary

Jody M. Wagner resigned today as Virginia secretary of finance. She is expected to announce in the coming days that she will run for lieutenant governor next year. Her last day is Aug. 8. "Jody Wagner's fiscal stewardship is one of the reasons why Virginia has been named best managed state and best state to do business," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said in a statement. "Her dedication and talents have secured Virginia's triple A bond rating and helped keep Virginia on the right track in a challenging economic environment. She has devoted herself to service, putting Virginia first, and she will be missed as an invaluable member of my team." Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) plans to run for re-election. Wagner will face fellow Democrat Jon Bowerbank, a businessman and member of the Russell County Board of Supervisors, who is already running....

By Anita Kumar | August 1, 2008; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

First Lady Kicks off Va Women for Obama Events

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's wife, First Lady Anne Holton, will headline the Virginia Women for Obama, Families for Change statewide kickoff tomorrow. She and families from across the Richmond area will gather at Byrd Park to highlight Sen. Barack Obama's policies that "strengthen American families and support working women." Virginia Women for Obama will hold a total of 11 events across the state including picnics and house parties. Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple of Arlington will headline the Alexandria event and Jody M. Wagner, the state secretary of finance who is expected to run for lieutenant governor, will appear in Hampton Roads. Some of the events are listed below:...

By Anita Kumar | August 1, 2008; 1:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Democrats Target More Va Congressional Races

National Democrats announced today that they will provide assistance to two more congressional races in Virginia this November. That brings the number in the state to four. Judy Feder, who is running against Rep. Frank Wolf in Northern Virginia, and Rep. Tom Perriello, who is runninng against Virgil Goode in the southern part of the state, were placed in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program, which directs assistance to Democratic challengers across the nation. They were chosen because they surpassed fundraising goals and showed "voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress." "The candidates for change being named to the DCCC Red to Blue program are running solid campaigns and are committed to making things easier for middle class families in their districts," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, DCCC chairman. "With less than 100 days to make their case for...

By Anita Kumar | August 1, 2008; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Michelle Obama Will Visit Virginia

Sen. Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, will make a campaign stop in Norfolk on Wednesday but few details about the event have been released yet. Later that evening, Obama will appear at a fundraiser hosted by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and First Lady Anne Holton at the Harrison Opera House featuring a musical performance by Bruce Hornsby. Tickets are $100 per person, $50 for students. It will be Obama's first campaign visit to the state, though her husband, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has been here several times....

By Anita Kumar | August 1, 2008; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

 

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