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Virginia Politics Blog: March 29, 2009 - April 4, 2009

Meeting to Remove Frederick Begins

The Republican State Central Committee began meeting this morning to determine whether to remove Jeffrey M. Frederick as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Sixty-seven members of the 77-member were present. Another 10 sent proxies. But the committee rejected one of the proxies because he did not live in the correct district. Frederick supporters believe the person carrying proxy want to keep the chairman and scrambled to find someone to replace him. Fifty-seven members of those present at the meeting are needed to remove Frederick. If the proxy is replaced, 58 members will be needed. Dozens of supporters gathered outside Marriott west of Richmond holding signs in support of Frederick before the 10 a.m. meeting began. "Elected, not selected,'' they chanted. The meeting, which is taking place behind closed doors, is expected to last much of the day. Members will hear from both sides, who were passing around thick...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 4, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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BGR, Rogers Helped Warner Too

Last week, Democratic gubernatorial Brian Moran blasted his rival Terry McAuliffe for attending a Washington fundraiser hosted by BGR Group, a lobbying firm founded in part by Republican Ed Rogers. But it turns out BGR and Rogers hosted a fundraiser for another Virginia Democrat. A fundraiser honoring U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia was held in October 2008 when the former governor was running for Senate. The invitation included Rogers, along with nine other lobbyists with BGR, including former Bush aide Eric Burgeson, Lanny Griffith, who worked in the George H.W. Bush White House and Bob Wood, chief of staff to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. Moran criticized McAuliffe last week for his relationship with Rogers, who helped carry the Republican message on TV last year with pointed references to President Obama's middle name, Hussein. So what does Moran say now?...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 3, 2009; 8:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Mark Warner , Terry McAuliffe  
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Huckabee On the Hot Seat -- Again

Did Mike Huckabee's visit to Virginia this week end up helping or hurting Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell? For the second day in a row, the former Aksanas governor and presidential candidate has come under fire by state Democrats for comments made earlier this week while campaigning with McDonnell. Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds and C. Richard Cranwell, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, called on McDonnell to apologize for Huckabee's remark that Northern Virginians "aren't necessarily thinking the same way folks like you and me think." "They may never have fully understood how hard it is for a lot of people to put a paycheck together, to be able to feed a family," he said....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 3, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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McAuliffe Rolls Out Homeownership Plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unveiled a plan today to encourage residents to buy home and keep homeowners in their houses. His plan includes educating consumers on financial issues, creating savings accounts and a commonwealth-funded revolving loan program for homebuyers and protecting consumers from predatory lending practices. "The severity of the current financial crisis overall, and the mortgage crisis in particular, undermines the most basic part of the American dream: homeownership," McAuliffe said. "Much is happening at the federal level to address the mortgage crisis and under Governor Kaine, Virginia has taken bold and aggressive steps to address the issues raised in the current crisis. We need to look beyond the crisis and keep our eye on the long-term goal: increasing homeownership for all in a sensible and realistic way." McAuliffe also proposes limiting mortgage companies' ability to collect high-spread premiums and charge prepayment penalties, prohibiting foreclosure rescuers from gaining...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 3, 2009; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Wagner's Adds to Endorsement List

Former secretary of finance Jody Wager announced 60 more endorsements today from elected officials and local leaders in her campaign for lieutenant governor. They include Del. Delores L. McQuinn (D-Richmond) Del. Paul F. Nichols (D-Prince William), Lynchbug Mayor Joan Foster, Covington Mayor Mayor Stephanie R. Clark, Charlottesville Mayor David Norris and Quantico Mayor Iris Tharp. Wagner now has the support of 45 members of the General Assembly, 14 Mayors and hundreds of grassroots activists and volunteers. The remainder of the endorsements from today are below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 3, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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McAuliffe Blasts McDonnell

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe criticized Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell today McAuliffe for standing by silently while his surrogate Mike Huckabee encouraged Republicans to keep voters from the poll on Election Day. Huckabee, former governor of Arkanses and presidential candidate in 2008, jokingly told supporters at a McDonnell campaign rally this week: "You have two jobs. One, get all those people who are going to vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they're not going to vote for Bob, you have another job. Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day. Keep 'em home. Do the Lord's work, my friend. I'm giving you an opportunity...yes, do the right thing." Members of the audience laughed. McAuliffe told reporters that as chairman of the Democratic National Committee he started the Voting Rights Institute, designed to highlight the...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 2, 2009; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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McDonnell's Eventful Flight

The four-seater plane carrying Robert F. McDonnell bounced through rain and fog last night on the short trip from the Eastern Shore to Frederickburg, where the Republican gubernatorial nominee was headed for a rally. Curly Byler, the 88-year-old father of Gary C. Byler, chairman of the 2nd Congressional District Republican Committee in Virginia Beach, flew the plane in and out of the clouds and circled the area before he was able to land the plane in bad weather. Curly Byler has been flying for 70 years. He has flown Virginia gubernatorial candidates for three decades. Gary C. Byler said his father cheated death eight times while flying, including once when he ran out of gas and another time when he flew through a hurricane in Florida. "My dad flies in ridiculous conditions,'' Gary Byler said. "Nothing bothers him."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 2, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McAuliffe Unveils Health, Education Plans

This morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe rolled out plans to make healthcare more affordable, increase access to higher education and secure retirement savings. "Our economic struggles have not been evenly distributed around Virginia - some communities, some industries, have been hit much harder than others," McAuliffe said. "But Virginians everywhere can see what is happening, and they wonder how it may affect them. State government cannot solve all of our problems. But it should be an ally to the aspirations and goals of its citizens." The three Democratic candidates for governor are feverishly campaigning across the state, releasing policy proposals several times a week. Yesterday, McAuliffe and rival Brian Moran unveiled proposals to lure Hollywood film crews to the state and boost the number of businesses owned by women and minorities. Today, McAuliffe proposed offering unemployed workers low-interest loans to help buy health insurance or allowing them to buy...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 2, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Moran's Endorsement List Grows

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran continues to receive endorsements almost daily from elected officials and local Democratic groups across the state. Moran, a former delegate, and state Sen. Creigh Deeds, to a lesser extent, clearly have the support of many of local Democratic officials in Virginia. Newcomer Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee has announced a limited number of endorsements but says he approaches them in a different way -- trying to solicit support from local activists. The June 9 election may test how powerful and effective local endorsement is in a Democratic primary....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 1, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009  
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Deeds Asks SCC to Reject Rate Hike

Energy has quickly become one of the top issues in the contest for the Democratic nomination for governor. The three candidates took similar approaches to the news yesterday afternoon that Dominion Virginia Power is seeking to raise electricity rates 6.9 percent during the next 14 months. But only state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds called on the State Corporation Commission to reject the proposed increase. "This is the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it's simply not the time to ask Virginia families to pay more for their monthly energy bill,'' he said. "It's time to put the middle class first again. I call on the Virginia State Corporation Commission to reject this rate increase on Virginia's working families."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 1, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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A Little Rock from Little Rock

Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican nominee for governor, and Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, had an impromptu jam session at a fundraiser last night in Bristol attended by 130 people. Huckabee headlined fundraisers for McDonnell in Roanoke and Bristol yesterday and in Virginia Beach today. He helped raise $360,000 at the three events. Huckabee is playing the bass guitar and yes, that's McDonnell on the drums....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 31, 2009; 7:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Another Union Backs McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe, who has spent decades in Washington working with national Democratic leaders and forging close ties to unions, received another in a series of labor endorsements today in his race for governor. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO, was the latest to announce its support of McAuliffe, citing his approach to create and protect jobs. "Like millions of other Americans, Boilermakers are nervous about the economy and about their future, and their children's future,'' Boilermakers International President Newton B. Jones said. "There is uncertainty and concern, but also hope. We believe our best days are ahead of us and Terry is the best answer to Virginia's need for a leader who can take on some very tough challenges and build a stronger economy." In recent weeks, McAuliffe has been endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 31, 2009; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Terry's Travels

View Larger Map Anita Kumar today reports on the frequent, far-flung fundraising trips. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has made in the run-up to the governor's race primary in June. Use the map above to check out his 2009 out-of-state itinerary so far....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 31, 2009; 12:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Terry McAuliffe  
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Frederick Hires Attorneys for Fight

Jeffrey M. Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, hired two longtime Republicans to defend him Saturday in his fight against the party's governing board. Lawyers A.J. Dudley, chairman of the 9th House of Delegates legislative district and former federal law clerk (whose dad was a member of the House) and William Stanley, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Committee who worked on the Paula Jones sexual harrassment case against former president Bill Clinton, were retained yesterday. The State Central Committee has scheduled an emergency meeting to vote on whether to remove Frederick, who is opposed by nearly every top-ranking Republican officeholder in Virginia. Dudley said in an interview today that Frederick will not resign this week, but he is still seeking "a fair resolution is in everyone's best interest."...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 30, 2009; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Union Endorses McAuliffe

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was endorsed this morning by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union in the AFL-CIO. AFSCME, which has more than 10,000 members in Virginia, cited McAuliffe's leadership, business experience and vision, calling him the candidate best equipped to get the state's economy back on track. "In these tough economic times, it is more critical than ever that we work to grow the economy," AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee said. "Terry McAuliffe...will work to address rising unemployment head-on by creating new jobs and new opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Not only do we support his vision of a stronger Virginia, we will be proud to work with him to make it happen."...

By Anita Kumar  |  March 30, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Romney, Hannity Headline GOP Convention

Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts, will speak at the state Republican convention in May. Romney will headline the Commonwealth Gala at the Richmond Downtown Marriott on May 29. Talk show host Sean Hannity will speak the next day at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. About 8,000 to 10,000 activists are expected to attend the convention. Former state attorney general Robert F. McDonnell has already been certified the GOP nominee for governor. But delegates will chose their nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general....

By Anita Kumar  |  March 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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