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Virginia Politics Blog: April 5, 2009 - April 11, 2009

Moran Leads in Poll

A DailyKos/Research 2000 poll on the governor's race shows that former delegate Brian Moran leads former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe among likely voters in the Democratic primary, 24 percent to 19 percent. State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds had 16 percent. The poll found that Moran was nearly tied with Republican Robert F. McDonnell in a general election. McAuliffe and Deeds each trailed McDonnell by 7 percent. "Not only are we leading in the primary, but, more importantly, this poll confirms that Brian is the strongest Democrat to take on Bob McDonnell in November,'' Moran campaign manager Andrew Roos said. "Virginia Democrats know that we need a fighter and we need a winner come November, and this poll is further evidence that we are running a campaign that will accomplish exactly that."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 10, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Deeds Raises $600,000

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds raised more than $600,000 over the past six weeks and has $1.2 million in the bank for his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor. Deeds (D-Bath) was prohibited by law from raising money during the 45-day legislative session this year. But Deeds is now the second-best funded candidate in the race, trailing Terry McAuliffe. Deeds' fundraising total for the quarter put him on par with one of his Democratic rivals, former delegate Brian Moran (Alexandria), who raised $800,000 during the first three months of the year. Moran resigned from the House last year to focus on his fundraising. Deeds's aides said the candidate received 97 percent of his money in this quarter from within Virginia. "Some people said that it was foolish of me to give up 46 days of campaign fundraising in order to stay and fight for you in the Virginia...

By Washington Post editors  |  April 9, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds  
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New Anti-GOP PAC, Blog Debuts

A new Virginia-based political action committee created to attack Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell debuted today, unveiling its new Web site and accusing the state's former attorney general of "not accurately portraying himself." The PAC's Web site, TheRealBobMcDonnell.com, features a Hawaiian shirt-clad McDonnell flanked by Republican Party leaders, such as religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, radio host Rush Limbaugh, recently ousted Virginia GOP chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick and former President George W. Bush. "Bob McDonnell represents right-wing special interests and big corporations, not you," the Web site says. Common Sense Virginia has received $100,000 from the Democratic Governors Association, its sole funding to date. The governors association will continue funding the group, officials say, to pay for an "aggressive TV and online campaign," said Yoni Cohen, the group's spokesman. "We do expect to continue raising money, and raise and spend a significant sum," Cohen said. Common Sense Virginia will not...

By Washington Post editors  |  April 9, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race  
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Kaine Berates Legislators

A handful of legislators traditionally walk to the governor's third-floor Capitol office when the House and Senate are ready to adjourn a session. In the last year or two, Kaine and legislators have ignored the largely symbolic practice. But last night when legislators were ready to adjourn their one-day session they decided to stick with tradition, partly out of respect for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and what is likely to be his last session during his four-year term. Afterwards, some Republicans wished they skipped the event. A visibly angry and red faced Kaine berated legislators for narrowly rejecting $125 million in federal stimulus money that would have provided additional unemployment benefits to thousands of jobless Virginians....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 9, 2009; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McAuliffe Raises $4.2 Million: Moran $800,000

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe raised an impressive $4.2 million in his campaign for Virginia governor in the three-month period that ended last month, campaign officials said today. Rival Brian Moran raised $800,000 in the same period -- more than he raised in the previous six months, but still far less than McAuliffe. "We expect to be outspent, but we also expect to win,'' Moran Campaign Chairwoman Mame Reiley said. "Virginia Democrats have long confirmed that money in and of itself does not sway them to a candidate. Instead, they want someone who is a proven fighter for their families and a leader who can win in November." McAuliffe has spent nearly half of the total amount that he has raised and has about $2.5 million cash on hand. Democrat R. Creigh Deeds did not release his campaign finance reports today....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Shannon Files Petitions; Raises $270,000

Del. Stephen C. Shannon, the sole Democrat in the race for attorney general, filed the necessary petitions today to get his name on the ballot. Shannon of Fairfax, who was forbidden by law from raising money during the 45-day legislative session this year, received more than $270,000 in the first three months of 2009. He has $900,000 cash on hand. Shannon submitted 14,267 signatures. The state requires candidates to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including those of least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. Three Republicans seek the nomination for attorney general: Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax); John Brownlee, a former federal prosecutor; and David M. Foster, the former chairman of the Arlington County School Board....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Armstrong Endorses Wager

Former finance secretary Jody Wagner picked up the endorsement of the highest ranking Democrat in the House of Delegates, Ward L. Armstrong, in her bid for lieutenant governor. Armstrong, the House minority leader, cited Wagner's experience as a member of Timothy M. Kaine and Mark R. Warner's administrations. "Having seen firsthand the work she did in the Warner and Kaine administrations to help fix the state's fiscal problems...I know she has the right experience to balance our budget and maintain Virginia as the best managed state and best state for business,'' Armstrong said. "As an elected official, and more importantly as a Virginian, I trust Jody Wagner to keep Virginia moving forward." Three other Democrats are running: Jon Bowerbank, a businessman from Russell County, Pat Edmonson, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board and Michael Signer, an attorney who worked for former governor Mark R. Warner....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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McDonnell Opposes Unemployment Stimulus

As the General Assembly returns to Richmond today, Democrats are calling on GOP gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell to urge Republican legislators to change Virginia's unemployment system so the state can take advantage of $125 million in federal stimulus money. That's going to be a tough sell. Through his spokesman, McDonnell said he opposes changes that could mean higher taxes for businesses once the stimulus money is exhausted. "Bob McDonnell is highly supportive of the stimulus money being used to compensate displaced full time workers in Virginia,'' said Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman. "However, creating an unfunded federal mandate to permanently expand benefits with one time funding poses an undue hardship on the taxpayers and employers. Thus the long term effect would not be good for economic development."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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More Endorsements for Moran

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran received the support from several more local elected leaders, and is now far outpassing his rivals R. Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe in endorsements. Moran is hoping his endorsers convince others to support him and get others out to the polls on June 9. It's unclear if the strategy will work on a day when turnout has historically been extremely low in Virginia. Moran received the endorsement of nearly every elected Democrat in the City of Falls Church. "Brian is grounded in our commonwealth and connected to our people,'' Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner said. "He knows how to fight and win for Virginia families, and that's why I'm standing behind him to be governor." Also endorsing: Councilman Lawrence Webb, Councilman Dan Sze, Commissioner of the Revenue Tom Clinton, Sheriff Steve Bittle, Treasurer Cathy Kaye and former Democratic Committee Chair Edna Frady....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Kaine Appoints Melvin To Bench

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) appointed retiring delegate Kenneth R. Melvin (D-Portsmouth) to fill a vacancy on the Portsmouth Circuit Court. "With this appointment, Ken will have another opportunity to build upon his record of dedicated service to the Commonwealth," Kaine said. "I have known and admired Ken for the keen analytical abilities and reasoned judgment he brought to legislative debates. I look forward to his continued service." Melvin, one of the longest-serving members of the House Courts of Justice Committee, is credited with defending civil rights and supporting the disadvantaged. He was elected in 1985 to represent parts of Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Norfolk....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008  
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GOP Fights Kaine on Jobless Benefits

By Chris Jenkins The fight over extending jobless benefits to more of Virginia's unemployed workers is coming down to the wire. House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) dug a deeper line in the sand today, reaffirming House leadership's opposition to Gov. Tim Kaine's effort to offer unemployment insurance to workers looking for part time work and those who are in certain kinds of job training programs. The General Assembly will vote on the expansion, which is funded through $125 million in federal stimulus money, during the legislature's one-day reconvene session Wednesday....

By Matt Mosk  |  April 7, 2009; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2009  
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Anthony Bedell for RPV Chairman?

An effort is underway to draft Anthony Bedell, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, to run for head of the Republican Party of Virginia. His is among many names being floated to replace Jeffrey M. Frederick, who was ousted over the weekend but who has said he may run for the post again. Bedell was only elected to his Fairfax County position in December, after Jim Hyland stepped down. Since then, Northern Virginia Republicans have outperformed expectations in three special elections, including one that installed John Cook (R) in the Braddock District seat vacated by Sharon Bulova (D), who became chairman this year. Some supporters have started a Facebook group called "Draft Anthony Bedell for RPV Chairman," and several GOP blogs have suggested his name. No word yet from Bedell about whether he is interested. UPDATE: Bedell issued this statement Wednesday: "At this time, I am not a candidate...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  April 7, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Basketball Bipartisanship

Greg Scanlon, research director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, won Republican guberanatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell's "bracket madness" last night when the University of North Carolina won the college championship. Scanlon came out ahead of 786 other participants, largely because of his selection of Michigan State to advance to the national title game last night. "This guy knows his basketball,'' McDonnell said. "Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell might want to check how much time he spends researching politics versus how much he spends on ESPN.com....Greg's win proves our campaign brings Republicans and Democrats together."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 7, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Moran Wins Straw Poll

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran received the majority of votes at the Lee District Democratic Committee straw poll in Fairfax County this weekend. Moran won 47 out of the 50 votes. He also won the Mount Vernon Democratic straw poll in Fairfax in February. "This straw poll continues to show the grassroots momentum building behind Brian," Campaign Chairwoman Mame Reiley said. "He is building this campaign from the bottom up, and this is another demonstration of where local leaders in the Democratic Party stand and that they are working hard to make their support count."...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 7, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009  
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Comstock Raises $120,000

Barbara Comstock, who is running for a House of Delegates seat in Fairfax County in November, has raised $120,000 since mid-January -- a substantial amount of money for a non-incumbent. Comstock, running against Democratic Del. Margaret G. Vanderhye, received donations from more than 300 people. "We are particularly pleased with the support that Barbara's campaign has received financially from her many friends, neighbors, colleagues and supporters,'' said John Hishta, a campaign spokesman. "We have gone beyond our best hopes for this early show of support. We understand that in order to be successful this fall we will need to have the necessary financial resources in order to get our message out." Comstock worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) and the Government Reform Committee, ran opposition research for the Republican National Committee and helped Scooter Libby's legal team in his criminal case. Last year, she worked on...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 7, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Signer Launches LG Campaign

Michael Signer, an attorney who worked for former governor Mark R. Warner, officially launched his campaign for lieutenant governor today in Arlington. Signer began a statewide tour of every region of Virginia, which will include more than 20 stops. "Mike is quickly emerging as the net-roots and grassroots candidate," his spokesman Christian Rickers said. "The number of investors in his campaign represents the strength of his organization and the power of his message." Signer of Arlington was a senior strategist to U.S. Rep Tom Perriello and a deputy counselor to Warner. He is currently a senior national security policy fellow at the think tank Third Way and a principal of the Truman National Security Project. Three other Democrats are running: Jon Bowerbank, a businessman from Russell County, Pat Edmonson, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board and former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 6, 2009; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Deeds Files Petitions

Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds' campaign filed 15,942 signatures with the Virginia State Board of Elections today to get his name on the June 9 primary ballot. The state requires candidates to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including those of least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. "We are excited with our tremendous showing of grassroots support to get on the ballot on June 9th," Deeds said. "This puts us on the way to securing the nomination and beating Bob McDonnell in November." His Democratic rivals, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran, submitted their petitions March 24 on the first day candidates were eligible to file....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 6, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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GOP Group Gives McDonnell $1 Million

Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell received $1 million from the Republican Governor's Association last month for his campaign, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. "Everyone knows this is an important race with national implications,'' said Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman. "We welcome the strong support of the Republican Governor's Association. They are helping us take Bob McDonnell's positive message of new jobs and more opportunities to every voter in every region of Virginia." Other groups that have donated large amounts in the governor's race include the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and the Firefighters Interested in Registration and Education. They contributed a total of $475,000 to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. "Terry's proud to have the support of working men and women across Virginia, including members of AFSCME and fire fighters,'' said Lis Smith, McAuliffe's spokeswoman. "As this report shows, the national Republican Party has made good on...

By Anita Kumar  |  April 6, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Deeds Will Not Speak At Shad Planking

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sen. R. Creigh Deeds will not appear at next week's Shad Planking, a longtime Virginia tradition where politicians come to see and be seen. Deeds' decision is surprising because appearing at the Shad Planking is considered a must-do for statewide candidates. "It's highly unusual,'' said Robert W. Bain, chairman of the Wakefield Ruritan Club, which organizes the event. The three other gubernatorial candidates -- Democrats Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran and Republican Robert F. McDonnell -- will attend....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 6, 2009; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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GOP Searches for a New Leader

Virginia Republicans are considering selecting either Pat Mullins of Louisa County or Alexandra Liddy Bourne of Fairfax County as their new state party chairman May 2. Until then, First Vice Chairman Mike Thomas, a leader in the movement to remove Jeffrey M. Frederick yesterday will serve as interim party chairman, a post he has held three times since 2003. Thomas, a consultant at the McGuire Woods, said he will not run to complete Frederick's four-year term. But don't count Frederick out just yet....

By Anita Kumar  |  April 5, 2009; 1:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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