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Virginia Politics Blog: September 28, 2008 - October 4, 2008

Joe McCain Says Inner Suburbs Are "Communist"

Sen. John McCain's brother, Joe, made an apparent joke today that Democratic-leaning Alexandria and Arlington are "Communist country." Speaking at an event in support of his brother in Loudoun County, Joe McCain said, "I've lived here for at least 10 years and before that about every third duty I was in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country," according to a Washington Post reporter who was there. Joe McCain, who like his brother is a veteran of the Vietnam war, then apologized, but he drew laughter from the GOP faithful at the event. Joe McCain's remarks may not sit well with some residents of Arlington and Alexandria, who by the way include his brother. John McCain owns a condominium in Arlington County. The McCain campaign's national and Virginia headquarters are also located in Arlington County. "This was Joe McCain's unsuccessful attempt at humor," said McCain spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. "John...

By Tim Craig  |  October 4, 2008; 8:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
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Biden Cancels Va. Stops on Sunday; Bayh to Fill In

Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has cancelled his scheduled appearances tomorrow in Roanoke and in Henrico County because of an illness in his family. Biden's spokesman, David Wade, issued the following statement: "The campaign has cancelled Senator Biden's schedule today and tomorrow because of a serious illness in Jill Biden's family. Hospice has advised the Bidens to remain close by, and we appreciate everyone's respect for the family's privacy," Wade said The campaign announced this evening that Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D), who Obama had considered as a running mate, will fill in for Biden....

By Tim Craig  |  October 4, 2008; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
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Obama in Newport News

Thousands of people crammed into Victory Landing Park in downtown Newport News today to hear Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speak during his sixth visit to Virginia since June. With a Navy ship as a backdrop, Obama unveiled a new blistering attack on Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) health care policies. It will be Obama's first big rally in Hampton Roads, a key swing area in the election, since February, when he drew 18,000 to Virginia Beach. There were also an estimated 18,000 people at today's event. "This isn't politics for me, this is personal," Obama said, referring to his late mother. "I know something about our broken health care system." He later added, "everyone knows the health care system is not working...The question is not whether we can afford to fix health care. The question is how can we afford not to?" Obama said McCain wants to tax existing health...

By Tim Craig  |  October 4, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
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McCain's Campaign Holds Events in Va Today

Republican presidential nominee John McCain's campaign is holding a flurry of campaign events in Virginia today, perhaps in response to yet another visit to the state by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Events will take place in Prince William, Loudoun, Greene and Henrico counties and will include appearances by Joe McCain, McCain's brother; Jeffrey Frederick, state GOP chairman; Paul Galanti, a former prisoner of war; U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf; and Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board, among others. Obama is holding a rally in Newport News today. His running mate, Joe Biden, will appear in Roanoke and suburban Richmond tomorrow. See the list of McCain campaign events below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 4, 2008; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Joe Biden , John McCain  
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Gilmore Finds His Issue

With a month to go until the Nov. 4 election, tonight's debate may have been U.S. Senate Candidate James S. Gilmore III's last opportunity to make a dent in Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner's huge lead in the polls. Although it's difficult to know how many people were watching, Gilmore delivered a strong performance by framing it as a contrast between two candidates with differing views of the bailout. Gilmore came out strongly against the $700 billion plan, arguing in a concise way that it amounted to government run amok. Warner supported the bailout, saying it was needed to prevent economic turmoil. Warner tried to pin the need for Congressional intervention on lax oversight by the Bush administration and "greed" on Wall Street. Warner noted that both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama voted in favor of the plan, prompting Gilmore to say at one point, "I'm not in this...

By Tim Craig  |  October 3, 2008; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Gilmore Meets Warner For Final Showdown

7:55 p.m Both candidates are now giving closing statements. Gilmore is talking about the bailout, noting again he would have opposed it while Warner supported it. "The tax man will come, and undoubtedly ladies and gentleman, he will come for you," Gilmore said. Warner reiterated that the bailout was needed. "You just can't push off problems," he said. Warner then framed race as a contrast between the "future versus the past." 7:54 p.m Gilmore said he would vote to confirm Supreme Court justices who support overturning Roe v. Wade. Warner said he wants to protect Roe v. Wade. 7:53 p.m.Warner said he wants to eliminate earmarks for transportation but said he would advocate for additional federal funding for some Virginia institutions. Gilmore said he will not request any earmarks. Gilmore is now talking about how the bailout bill was "full of earmarks." "Mark Warner would have voted for this bill,"...

By Tim Craig  |  October 3, 2008; 7:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Kaine Looks to Budget Showdown

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and his pollster, Pete Brodnitz, held a conference call with Senate Democratic leaders yesterday to begin preparing a strategy for dealing with the state's budget shortfall, according to officials familiar with the call. Kaine didn't offer a lot of specifics on how he plans to trim spending, but he said Democratic internal polls show the party has the upper hand with the public when it comes to making budget decisions. Kaine also noted his approval rating remains high despite the budget shortfall. Brodnitz also told legislators that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is in a strong position to win Virginia this fall....

By Tim Craig  |  October 3, 2008; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Deeds Wins Labor Award

The Washington D.C. Building and Construction Trades Council has given Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), a Democratic candidate for governor, its "Legislator of the Year" award. The council is affilated with the AFL-CIO as well as the electricians, ironworkers, painters and other construction unions in Northern Virginia. The award, which comes from a key Democratic constituency, comes as Deeds is gearing up to potentially face Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, in next year's primary. McAuliffe, who has not yet made up his mind on whether he plans to run, and Moran are both from Northern Virginia. "The simple fact is Creigh Deeds is a leader in the fight for working families and getting our economy back on track," said Vance Ayres, executive secretary-treasurer of the Washington D.C. Building and Construction Trades Council. "Deeds' plan to make Virginia a leader...

By Tim Craig  |  October 3, 2008; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Tim Craig  
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Final U.S. Senate Debate Today

Former governors James S. Gilmore III (R) and Mark R. Warner (D) will square off at 7 p.m. tonight in Roanoke in their final debate in the race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. Come back to the blog at 7 p.m. for the latest, as we live blog the event. It is Gilmore's last chance to change the dynamics of the race and prove that he can compete with his popular rival. A month before the Nov. 4 election, Warner has a big lead in polls and fundraising. The two are running to replace the retiring Sen. John W. Warner (R) in a race that could help determine whether Virginia's gradual shift toward Democratic statewide candidates is solidifying. The 60-minute debate, sponsored by WSLS -TV in Roanoke and moderated by its anchor Jay Warren, will be held at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke. A three-person...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 3, 2008; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner  
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Biden Returns to Virginia Sunday

Sen. Joe Biden will headline a community gathering Sunday in Roanoke, and will then hold a similiar event in Henrico County, to tout Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's plan to turn around the economy. Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will appear at Century Park Plaza at 12:30 p.m. He will then appear at J.R. Tucker High School in Henrico County in suburban Richmond at 5 p.m. Biden will talk about creating jobs by investing $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy technology, cutting taxes for middle class families and lowering health care costs. In the last two weeks, Biden has appeared with Obama in Fredericksburg and has also campaigned in Woodbridge, Loudoun County and the annual United Mine Workers Fish Fry in Russell....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 2, 2008; 10:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Joe Biden  
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New Spanish Radio Ads Start in Virginia

A series of new Spanish-language radio ads will begin airing in the Washington metro area to urge residents to "move forward and vote." The New Policy Institute, an affiliate of the NDN progressive think tank and advocacy organization, has been airing in Nevada and Colorado. The Washington area ads start tomorrow. The media campaign, Adelante, Spanish for "Moving Forward," is a public education campaign that encourages people to vote, explains the process of voting (including early and absentee voting) and targets what is projected to be a large pool of first-time Hispanic voters. Three ads will start airing on three radio stations, which serve Northern Virgina, southern Maryland and the District. Ads will air through Nov. 3....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 2, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate  
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Bluegrass Legend Releases Ad for Obama

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign announced today a new folksy radio ad in Virginia featuring bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. The spot is playing on stations in Southwest Virginia. "Howdy, friends. This is Ralph Stanley, and I think I know a little something about the families around here,'' Stanley says in the ad with banjos picking in the background. "and after the last eight years - I know we all need a change. Now, nobody's looking for a handout, but we could use a leader that's on our side. That leader is Barack Obama." Stanley, 81, of Coeburn, received the National Medal of Arts in 2006, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly designated him the Outstanding Virginian. He endorsed Obama last month....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 2, 2008; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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New Poll Shows McCain With Narrow Lead in Va.

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) holds a narrow lead over Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) in Virginia, according to a new poll by Mason-Dixon Research Inc. for several state newspapers, including the Richmond Times Dispatch. The poll has McCain getting 48 percent of the vote compared to Obama's 45 percent. But McCain's lead is within the 4 point margin of error. According to the Times Dispatch, McCain leads among men, whites and military voters. MCain also leads in rural areas and in Richmond. The two candidates are running even in the Hampton Roads but Obama has a big lead in Northern Virginia. He is also ahead among blacks, younger voters -- those 18 to 34 -- as well as women, according to the Times Dispatch. On Wednesday, CNN/Time published a poll that showed Obama ahead of McCain, 53 to 44 percent, in Virginia. A Washington Post published last...

By Tim Craig  |  October 2, 2008; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
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Warner Wins Support From GOP Officials

More than 600 local officials, half of whom are Republicans or Independents, announced today they are supporting Democratic Candidate Mark. R. Warner over GOP nominee James S. Gilmore III in Virginia's U.S. Senate race. The "Virginians for Warner" coalition includes several former GOP officials who have grown disenchanted with their party in recent years, including former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Russ Potts, former delegate Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (Fairfax) and former Senate President John H. Chichester Jr. (Northumberland). Warner also picked up an endorsement from former Republican governor Linwood Holton, who also endorsed Warner in his 2001 bid for governor and is supporting Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid this year. But Don Upson, who served as Secretary of Technology when Gilmore was governor, also announced his support for Warner. Warner was also endorsed by former GOP delegates Bob Bloxom (Accomack), Hank Lampe (Arlington), Ed Robb (Albemarle), Jim Dillard...

By Tim Craig  |  October 2, 2008; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Actors Hit Trail for Obama

Actors Blair Underwood and Megalyn Echikunwoke will stump for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) this weekend across Virginia to try to encourage residents to register to vote before Monday's registration deadline. Underwood, a Petersburg native, currently appears in the HBO series, In Treatment, and ABC's drama Dirty Sexy Money. Echikunwoke recently starred in Who Do You Love and is best known for appearing in the first season of 24. They plan to hold public campaign events Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Richmond, Emporia, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Alexandria and Springfield. They also plan to attend some private church services Sunday morning in Richmond. The full itinerary is below....

By Tim Craig  |  October 2, 2008; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Obama Will Campaign in Newport News

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois will hold a rally Saturday afternoon at Victory Landing Park in Newport News. Obama will tout his plans to restore the economy, create jobs and cut taxes for Virginia's middle class families, according to the campaign. Saturday's trip marks his sixth trip to the state since he secured the Democratic presidential nomination. He was in Fredericksburg last weekend. Sen. John McCain of Arizona has held one public event in Virginia since he secured the Republican presidential nomination....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 1, 2008; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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Obama Opens Up Lead in Va.

A new CNN /Time Magazine poll out today shows Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) with a 9 point lead over Arizona Sen. John McCain in Virginia. Obama receives 53 percent of the vote to McCain's 44 percent. In a CNN/Time poll two weeks ago, McCain led Obama by 4 points in Virginia. The most recent poll was conducted Sunday through Tuesday during the height news coverage of the ongoing economic crisis involving the credit markets and Wall Street. The timing of the poll may have skewed the results in Obama's favor, but he now holds commanding leads in both Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. He and McCain are tied in the Richmond area, according to the poll. In Northern Virginia - which includes Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Alexandria - Obama received 60 percent of the vote compared to McCain's 37 percent. The regional breakdowns have a margin of error...

By Tim Craig  |  October 1, 2008; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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New Voter Registration Figures Released

Nearly 350,000 people have registered to vote so far this year in Virginia, according to statistics released today by the State Board of Elections. Combined with people who have died or moved out of state, Virginia has a net increase of 306,000 newly registered voters since the start of the year. About 65,000 people have registered to vote since September 15, according to the statistics. As in earlier reports, people appear to be registering at the fasted clip in more Democratic-leaning areas. But the city of Lynchburg, where officials at socially conservative Liberty University are trying to register students, has also added about 3,000 new registrants in the past 15 days. The deadline to register is Oct. 6....

By Tim Craig  |  October 1, 2008; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Planned Parenthood Takes Aim at McCain, Palin

Planned Parenthood will start running a television ad tomorrow in Northern Virginia that takes aim at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for their alleged views on providing assistance to rape victims. In the ad, titled "heartless," a rape victim says Wasilla Alaska made women pay for rape testing exams when Palin was mayor. The ad, which will also air in Wisconsin and Missouri, also criticizes McCain for voting against the Violence Against Women Act in Congress. "The McCain-Palin ticket is dangerously out of touch when it comes to women's rights and women's health care," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, called the ad a "vicious smear" against McCain and Palin. "This ad is patently false and represents the worst kind of politics," Diaz said. "What Barack Obama and his most...

By Tim Craig  |  October 1, 2008; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain , Tim Craig  
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McCain Adds A Dozen New Offices in Va.

GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and the Republican National Committee announced today they are opening 12 additional regional headquarters across Virginia. The new offices will be located in Sterling, Yorktown, Charlottesville, Woodbridge, Blacksburg, Norfolk, Abingdon, Richmond, Springfield, Gainesville, Danville, and Mechanicsville. The additional offices come amid growing indications that McCain is locked in a dog fight in Virginia with Democratic candidate Barack Obama. An average of several recent polls show Obama is opening up a small lead in the state. Mccain will now have two dozen offices in Virginia. Obama, who passed the two dozen mark months ago, has opened 43 offices. Obama and the Democratic Party also have about 200 paid staffers working in the state, according to Democratic officials and campaign finance reports.....

By Tim Craig  |  October 1, 2008; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain , Tim Craig  
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The Coal War Continues

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) held a conference call with reporters this morning to accuse Republican presidential nominee John McCain of airing "misleading" ads about Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) position on coal. The fight over coal has become a central issue in the presidential race in Southwest Virginia, which Boucher represents in Congress. The McCain campaign has latched onto comments Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) made earlier this month about not wanting more coal power plants to be built in the United States. McCain is running ads in Southwest Virginia accusing Obama of being against clean coal technology. Boucher says McCain's ads are untrue. Boucher said Obama is "a greater friend of coal than virtually any member of the United States Senate." "If you look at the comparison between the records of Senator Obama and Senator McCain, it is clear who is the friend of coal, it's not...

By Tim Craig  |  October 1, 2008; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Kaine Pledges to Finish His Term

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) pledged Tuesday to remain governor through January 2010 even if Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama wins the presidency and offers him a Cabinet job. "Absolutely,'' he said on his monthly call-in show on WTOP Radio. "I'm gonna stay as governor all the way through January 2010." Kaine, co-chairman of Obama's national campaign, had been seriously considered as a running mate for the Illinois senator. The two became friends after they campaigned together during Kaine's 2005 gubernatorial race and Kaine has returned the favor, stumping nationwide for him over the last year. "If I was asked to be vice president... I would have said yes,'' Kaine said. But, he said, he plans to remain a volunteer if Obama wins. "I hope I can be helpful,'' he said....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 30, 2008; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Obama Releases New Ad in Virginia

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama launched a two-minute television ad in Virginia today to explain how the Illinois senator plans to handle the nation's financial crisis. The ad, called Same Path, details Obama's plan to jump-start the economy and create millions of jobs. Specifically, it outlines his tax plan, which his campaign says will provide tax relief to the middle class and cut taxes for small and startup businesses....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 30, 2008; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Turque , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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McCain Airs New Ad in Virginia

The Republican National Committee launched a new television ad today to highlight what it calls Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes and increase debt. The ad, called Worse, will run in Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 30, 2008; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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Webb Pays Tribute to Warner

Democratic Sen. Jim Webb honored his Republican colleague, Sen. John W. Warner, who is retiring after three decades in the Senate. Webb, elected in 2006, took the Senate floor this afternoon to pay tribute to Warner, considered an elder statesman highly regarded for his expertise in defense matters. "He has always put the interests of the people of Virginia and the people in this country ahead of political party,'' Webb said. "He has been very clear at different times that he and I are in different parties. But this is an individual who has served this body with great wisdom and a deeply ingrained sense of fairness and someone who has the temperament and the moral courage of a great leader." Warner then took the floor, saying in an emotional response that he was "moved" and "grateful" for Webb's comments. "America will always look down on you as a proud...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 29, 2008; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , James Webb , John W. Warner  
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Financial Bailout Splits Va Delegation

Virginia's congressional delegation was sharply divided on a $700 billion financial bailout defeated by the U.S. House Monday afternoon. Six of Virginia's members of Congress voted against the package and five voted in favor. Five of eight Republican members voted against the bailout as did one Democrat, Rep. Bobby Scott of Hampton Roads. Use the post.com congressional votes database to find out how your representative voted....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 29, 2008; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Eric Cantor , Frank R. Wolf , James P. Moran Jr. , Thomas M. Davis III  
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McCain Releases New Radio Ad in Virginia

Republican presidential nominee John McCain unveiled a new radio ad in Virginia today criticizing rival Barack Obama's energy plan. The ad, entitled Clean Coal, accuses the Democratic presidential nominee of opposing clean coal technology in states like Virginia, Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where thousands of jobs rely on the industry. Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) told reporters this afternoon that the ad is calling attention to Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden's contradictary statements on supporting the coal industry while campaigning in Southwest Virginia and other parts of the country. "It's very alarming,'' Kilgore said. "This type of double speak has been caught onto by Southwest Virginians and Virginians." The focus of coal comes amid signs that Obama may be making some inroads in Southwest Virginia. A Washington Post poll last week shows that 36 percent of likely voters in the western part of the state support Obama. The...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 29, 2008; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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Texas Congressman Campaigns for Obama

U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) will campaign in Virginia this week for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to talk about the challenges facing veterans, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Edwards will meet local veterans and military families to discuss Obama's plans for improving medical care, pay equity and educational opportunities to troops and their families. Edwards, whose district includes President Bush's Crawford ranch, is chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee and is a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. Event details are below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 29, 2008; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President  
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Food Workers Give Va. Democrats $100,000

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union donated $100,000 to the Virginia Democratic Party last week, the largest contribution it has received from an individual, business or union in a decade, according to the State Board of Elections and the Virginia Public Access Project. The $100,000 donation was credited to the party's state account, meaning it cannot be used to influence this year's presidential or congressional races. But the donation allows the state party to pay its operating costs so it can focus additional resources on raising money for its federal account, which can be used to support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) and congressional candidates. "We are happy to have their support and we appreciate a shared interest in working families' conditions in Virginia," said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party....

By Tim Craig  |  September 28, 2008; 9:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Warner Floods Virginia With Yard Signs

Virginia Democratic officials report that U.S. Senate candidate Mark R. Warner's campaign distributed 10,000 yard signs today across Virginia. Mike Henry, Warner's campaign manager, called it the "biggest one day sign blitz ever" conducted in the state. Although there has been an ongoing debate in Democratic circles over the importance of yard signs in the presidential race, Warner (D) is well-known for his affinity for plastering his red, white and blue signs all over the state. There is no way to verify, however, that Warner's efforts today actually set a one-day record. But it's safe to assume you'll be seeing Warner's name a lot in the coming weeks....

By Tim Craig  |  September 28, 2008; 9:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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"KKK" Spray Painted on Obama Sign in Southwest Va.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department is investigating the vandalism of a homemade Obama sign in Abingdon in Southwest Virginia as a possible hate crime, according to WJHL in the Tricities market. In a video report posted on the station's website, Chris Johnson said someone spray painted "KKK Kill Bama" on the sign. Johnson said he made the sign for his 8-year-old stepson,who discovered the vandalism. "If you don't like Obama because he's a black man and you come in the middle of the night and destroy my sign, then you are a coward," Johnson said in the report. Johnson, who is white, said he will not be bullied. He now plans to erect even more homemade Obama signs on his property....

By Tim Craig  |  September 28, 2008; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Fredericksburg's Population Doubles With Obama Rally

University of Mary Washington Police Chief James C. Snipes confirms more than 25,000 peopled showed up for Sen. Barack Obama's rally today on the campus's main square. After consulting with the fire marshal, Snipes estimates that 12,000 people passed through security to get into the square while another 14,000 were left out. If accurate, Obama supporters doubled the population of the Fredericksburg today. Earlier this month, GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) held a large rally in Fairfax City. McCain campaign officials estimate 23,000 people showed up, although some have questioned that number. But the size of the two rallies highlight how there is genuine excitement among partisans on both sides, laying the groundwork for a pitched struggle between now and Nov. 4. They also raise one obvious question: How large will these rallies grow during final weeks of the campaign?...

By Tim Craig  |  September 28, 2008; 12:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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