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Virginia Politics Blog: November 23, 2008 - November 29, 2008

Deeds Campaign Coming Alive

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, a Democratic candidate for governor, announced additions to his campaign team today as he prepares for a heated three-way battle for the nomination. Deeds said Joe Abbey, who most recently worked for Senator-elect Mark R. Warner (D), will serve as his campaign manager, overseeing day-to-day operations. Deeds also confirmed that many of his senior advisers from his unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 2005 will once again be helping him next year. David Petts and his partner, Jill Normington, will serve as Deeds' pollster, as they did in 2005. This year, Normington worked for Democrat Glenn Nye in his successful race for Congress in Hampton Roads as well as various Democratic candidates around the country. David Dixon, of Dixon/Davis Media Group, will be Deeds media consultant. And Kevin Mack, who worked in Virginia on Tom Perriello's apparently successful congressional campaign this year, will be Deeds'...

By Tim Craig  |  November 26, 2008; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Tim Craig  
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Capitol Square's Thanksgiving Tradition

In Virginia, we have many traditions. This one dates back more than three centuries. Members of Virginia's Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian tribes came to Capitol Square this morning to offer Gov. Timothy M. Kaine their annual tribute of wild game in lieu of paying taxes on their reservations in King William County. Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, greeted members of the tribes in front of the Executive Masion while hundreds of members of the public braved the cool morning to watch the ceremony. Each tribe presented the Kaines with a dead deer, placed on the brick walkway in front of the mansion, as well as other handmade gifts, including pottery and a peace pipe. Female tribe members danced around the animals. "What do you think?" Kaine asked his wife when they were presented with the first deer. "I don't think we'll be hungry,'' she quipped....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 26, 2008; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , James P. Moran Jr. , James Webb , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Dominion and Other Big Donors Give Kaine $30,000

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) gave an impression yesterday that he was taking a brief hiatus from politics. Speaking on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio, Kaine refused to answer a question on whether he planned to work hard next year to unseat the remaining Republican members of the House of Delegates from increasingly Democratic Northern Virginia. "My focus right now is the legislative session," Kaine said. "From now to March, my focus is on the budget and policy and after the session, I will think about elections." But Kaine's fundraising tells a different tale. On Tuesday, the State Board of Elections reported that Kaine had collected an additional $30,000 for his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, from three of his biggest donors. Kaine picked up $10,000 each from Dominion, G. Gilmore Minor, president of Richmond-based Owens & Minor Inc. and Radford billionaire Randal J. Kirk. Dominion, the...

By Tim Craig  |  November 26, 2008; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Kaine Sets Special Election

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has set Jan. 6 as the date for voters to go to the polls to elect a replacement for Del. Dwight Clinton Jones (D-Richmond) who resigned to become the mayor of Richmond. Jan. 6 is also the date set for a special election to replace Del. Terrie Lynne Suit (R-Virginia Beach) who resigned to become a lobbyist. "The residents of the 70th District deserve to have their voice heard in the General Assembly when it convenes its session in January," Kaine said. "Holding the special election on January 6th will ensure that the needs and interests of these citizens are represented and considered in the legislative process."...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 26, 2008; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Kaine Meets With Obama, Other Governors

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) will travel to Philadelphia Tuesday to meet with President-Elect Barack Obama and most of the nation's other governors. The last-minute meeting of the National Governors Association will address how the growing economic crisis is affecting states and their budgets. At least 40 states are facing budget shortfalls. Kaine announced last month that Virginia is facing a $2.5 billion shortfall for the two-year 2009-10 budget. He will revise the estimate next month....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 26, 2008; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Where in the World is Cranwell?

C. Richard Cranwell, the chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said all fall he would make up his mind about whether he plans to run for statewide office next year shortly after the Nov. 4 election. Well, the Washington Post took him at his word and called him a few days after the election. Cranwell said he still hadn't made up his mind, but should have a decision by Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is in two days. But Cranwell's phone has gone straight to voice mail for the past two days. And Democratic officials say he is out of town. There does not appear, however, to be any indications that Cranwell is putting together a campaign, officials say. And while Cranwell takes his time in making up his mind - or announcing his decision - his potential rivals in the lieutenant governor's race continue to rack up endorsements. Jody Wagner, a Democratic...

By Tim Craig  |  November 25, 2008; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Kaine Vows to Stay out of Primary Fight

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has never been one to shy away from getting entangled in a contested Democratic nomination fight. When he was lieutenant governor in 2004, Kaine waded into the battle for the Democratic nomination for president by endorsing Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), a move widely viewed as an effort by Kaine to boost his credentials with moderates as he prepared to run for governor. Three years later, Kaine endorsed President-Elect Barack Obama in February of 2007 when few analysts would have predicted that Obama would end up defeating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.) for the nomination. This year, Kaine surprised many when he endorsed Gerald E. Connolly (D) in his race against Leslie Byrne for the Democratic nomination for Congress. But speaking on WTOP-Radio this morning, Kaine said he has no plans to endorse one of the three contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor. "I...

By Tim Craig  |  November 25, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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"Yea, I am Sure," Kaine tells Obama

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said today he has twice made it clear to President-Elect Barack Obama that he does not want to be considered for a cabinet position until after he leaves office in 2010. Speaking on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio, Kaine said the first discussion occurred this summer during Obama's vice-presidential selection process. Kaine said he would have left office early for the vice-presidency but told Obama "I really can't leave early for the cabinet." After the election, Kaine said he and Obama also briefly conversed about the cabinet.. "We communicated right after the election to say, 'hey are you sure? Yea I am sure'," Kaine said. But Kaine said today he hopes to be helpful to Obama "in a volunteer way" next year, perhaps as a liaison between the administration and governors....

By Tim Craig  |  November 25, 2008; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Going to the Dogs

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell received a surprise visit at his office in downtown Ruchmond from Waggles, the Richmond SPCA "spokesdog," and Nemo the pit bull, the Richmond SPCA's mascot. The dogs, along with a volunteer dressed as a chicken, showed up to congratulate McDonnell for being awarded the 2008 Humane Law Enforcement Award by the Humane Society of the United States. He received the award for his role in helping pass animal fighting legislation in the General Assembly this year....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 24, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine's Political Team Staying Put for '09

At least so far, there does not appear as if there will be major changes in Democratic party leadership heading into the 2009 races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates. Levar Stoney, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party, said recently he plans to remain in the job through next year. Stoney, who was an aide to Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) during his 2005 bid for attorney general, took over as executive director earlier this year. Don Mark, the party's political director, also plans to stay in his job. Meanwhile, Charlie Kelly says he plans to remain the executive director of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward. In his role as Kaine's political adviser, Kelly also partly directs the state party's operations. Kelly and Stoney both come from the field organizing side of the Democratic political world. As was the case...

By Tim Craig  |  November 24, 2008; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Bedell In Running for Fairfax GOP Chair

GOP strategist Anthony Bedell appears well positioned to replace James E. Hyland as the next chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. Hyland, a possible candidate for the House of Delegates next year, is stepping down as county chairman after two years. Bedell has worked in support of numerous GOP candidates over the years, including former governor and senator George Allen, President Bush, and former delegate and state senator James K. O'Brien....

By Tim Craig  |  November 24, 2008; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Kaine Ramps Up Fundraising for '09

With the federal election over, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is stepping up his efforts to raise money for his state political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward. Since late October, Kaine has collected $115,000 from eight individuals or organizations. Kaine collected $25,000 from Robert Smith, a Northern Virginia real estate developer. The Virginia Democratic Party also transferred $25,000 to the PAC immediately after the election. Genworth Financial , an insurance and financial services company with offices in Richmond, gave Kaine $15,000....

By Tim Craig  |  November 24, 2008; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Perriello Wins House Seat

The State Board of Elections certified Virginia's Nov. 4 election results, which includes a win for Democrat Tom Perriello over Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., a longtime incumbent in southern Virginia. Goode has not conceded the close race and has 10 days to ask for a recount. Calls to his spokesman were not immediately returned. "The citizens of the fifth district have spoken, every vote has been counted and certified, and they have elected Tom Perriello to be their new representative in Washington to bring the change and economic recovery they need,'' said Jessica Barba, a Perriello spokeswoman.....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 24, 2008; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2008/Congress  
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Moran's Decision

In selling his decision to consider running for both his House seat and the Democratic nomination for governor next year, Del. Brian J. Moran's (D-Alexandria) staff point to Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden. After he was tapped by President-Elect Barack Obama, Biden remained on the ballot in Delaware for his U.S. Senate seat. He won both races so the governor of Delaware will now be filling his Senate seat. But Biden was already his party's nominee for the Senate when he was selected by Obama. Moran would be starting the year with his eye toward winning two races at the same time. According to legislative sources, 1993 was the last time a delegate ran for reelection to their seat while also running for higher office. Delegate Clint Miller sought the Republican nomination for Governor at the 1993 Republican Convention while simultaneously running for reelection. Miller lost the GOP nod for governor, placing...

By Tim Craig  |  November 24, 2008; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Tim Craig  
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