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Virginia Politics Blog: May 3, 2009 - May 9, 2009

Two Fronts Against McAuliffe

Campaigns for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds are pursuing a two-front effort to push back today against Terry McAuliffe, as he airs new radio ads and opens new campaign offices. It's hard to say if public polls out showing McAuliffe ahead are accurate, but both Moran and Deeds are spending considerable time mounting an offense against him. For Deeds, the subject is new McAuliffe ads airing in urban radio markets that say McAuliffe is the only candidate to call for an end to payday lending in Virginia and blasts the General Assembly for a 2002 law that made the high-interest lending easier in the state. Both Moran and Deeds were in the legislature at the time, but Deeds' campaign is crying foul, noting that all three candidates have now called to end the unpopular lending. "It's inaccurate to say he's the only one wants to get payday...

By Anita Kumar  |  May 8, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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Oops!

Looks like someone is playing a trick on Tim Kaine, Virginia's governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Click on www.timkaine.com and you'll see what we mean. Instead of being sent to a site devoted to Kaine or Democrats, you get sent to the homepage of Steve Lonegan, a Republican candidate for governor in New Jersey. Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states with governor's races this year. As DNC chairman, Kaine is tasked with trying to keep both governor's mansions Democratic. How long until Kaine gets this fixed?...

By Anita Kumar  |  May 8, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Hamilton to Kaine: "I'm Appalled"

Del. Phillip Hamilton, a Newport News Republican who is chairman of the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, told Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today that he was "appalled" hackers were able to access millions of personal pharmaceutical records they say they stole from the state's prescription drug database. The FBI and State Police are searching for hackers who demanded that the state pay them a $10 million ransom by yesterday for the return of 8 million patient records and 35 million prescriptions collected by the Prescription Monitoring Program. "I am appalled that, given concerns over identity theft and computer hackers, a breach of security for the prescription drug monitoring program was even a remote possibility,'' Hamilton wrote in a letter to Kaine today. "I would have thought that sufficient security firewalls would have been in place to protect the identity of those legally receiving prescription drugs." Hamilton wrote that he...

By Anita Kumar  |  May 8, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell Fights Back with TV Ads

It seems like Bob McDonnell is being attacked almost daily these days. Now, the Republican nominee for governor has decided to fight back. McDonnell will begin airing TV ads Monday. His campaign has bought air time for one week in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Charlottesville and Tri-Cities, according to several sources familiar with the purchase. McDonnell declined to comment today....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 7, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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$500,000 More to Attack McDonnell

This is getting serious. It's only May and national Democrats have already sunk more than $1 million into attacking Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell. Today, the Democratic Governors Association reported to the state that it donated another $505,000 to Common Sense Virginia, a group formed to spread the word about what it calls McDonnell's "conservative legislative record" and his close ties to religious broadcaster Pat Robertson. The DGA had previously given the group $854,000....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 7, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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The Return of Jim Gilmore

Who is the Republican public official most frequently mentioned by the Democratic gubernatorial candidates besides, of course, Bob McDonnell? Former governor Jim Gilmore. They blame the one-time presidential candidate and former U.S. Senate hopeful every chance they get for Virginia's economic and financial woes --- and stress that electing McDonnell will bring about similar problems. Gilmore, who has been defending his record in letters to the editor and columns, praised McDonnell this week....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 7, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , James Gilmore III  
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McAuliffe Wades Into It

Democratic gubernatorial contender Terry McAuliffe harvested algae today. Need we say more?...

By Amy Gardner  |  May 6, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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GOP vs. GOP

The infighting among Republicans is not over yet. Bill Stanley, leader of the Franklin County Republican Committee, announced today that he will run for state GOP chairman against Pat Mullins on May 30 at the state convention. "Our party must be driven and guided from the grassroots up and not the top down,'' he said in a statement. "While we must give all those who work on our party's behalf their due, the Republican Party must not permit the judgment of the few to instruct or override the will of the many. The position of chairman must be elected, not anointed." Stanley sounds a little like ousted chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick, doesn't he?...

By Anita Kumar  |  May 6, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Leaky Tweets Sink...

Are there no secrets anymore? One of the mysteries of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign thus far has been when Republican Bob McDonnell will take to the television airwaves, particularly now that a Democratic political action committee has bought $550,000 in commercial time to slam him statewide. We may now have a piece of the answer--thanks to a 23-year old film production assistant in Boston.Yesterday, one Jonathan Paula twittered the following to his roughly 1,000 followers: I work 45 hours a week as an assistant editor in Boston editing political campaign commercials. Right now: Bob McDonnell for VA Gov...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 6, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Springsteen Wins Close Vienna Race

Howard Springsteen edged out incumbent Dan Dellinger in last night's close election for Vienna Town Council, according to Fairfax County results. Springsteen was ahead of Dellinger by a vote last night, but the results were too close to call because of a provisional ballot that could not be counted until this morning. The ballot was deemed valid, and it threw another vote to Springsteen, who declared victory this morning with a two-vote lead over Dellinger. "I have a lot of respect for Dan Dellinger," Springsteen said today. "It shows every vote counts." Springsteen, a New Jersey native with a dog named Boss, is not related to "the Boss."...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  May 6, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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GOP Gains Seats in Alexandria

One Republican and an independent backed by the GOP won seats on the Alexandria City Council tonight. The six-member council has been the exclusive domain of Democrats since 2003. Frank Fannon IV (R) and Alicia R. Hughes (I) succeeded even though the city went 72 percent for President Obama last year. It is just the latest Northern Virginia race in which Republicans outperformed expectations, giving hope to party leaders that they may yet take the governor's mansion in November despite two successive Democratic administrations....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  May 5, 2009; 9:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Vienna Election Cliffhanger

Incumbent George Lovelace and challenger Laurie DiRocco won two of the three seats up in today's Vienna town election, according to unofficial results from the Fairfax County Office of Elections. One vote separates the third and fourth place candidates, incumbent Dan Dellinger and and challenger Howard Springsteen. Springsteen is ahead with 793 votes, but there was one provisional ballot cast, and Fairfax County officials will not determine its validity until tomorrow under Virginia law. If it's a tie, the Board of Elections will flip a coin, draw a name out of a hat or otherwise determine the winner. Really....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  May 5, 2009; 7:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Dueling Polls

By Jon Cohen Eager to tamp down a bubbling storyline that Terry McAuliffe has a double-digit lead in the three-way contest for the Democratic nomination for Virginia Governor, former delegate Brian Moran's campaign today released its own poll showing the two locked in a very close race. Campaigns poll a lot, but release their internal data infrequently, usually in an effort to nudge coverage their way or attract support. The move comes on the heels of a second publicly-released poll putting McAuliffe, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, atop the field. Those two polls - one by SurveyUSA, and the new one by PublicPolicyPolling (PPP) - use automated telephone calls to gather data, a newer methodology that remains controversial. (The Washington Post does not typically report these types of polls.)...

By Matt Mosk  |  May 5, 2009; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Polls  
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Farm Team Asks Moran to Alter Ad

Brian Moran's campaign has been slapped on the wrist by the organizers of the recent Farm Team debate in Williamsburg, for using video from the event in a You Tube campaign spot in violation of the debate's rules. Campaigns had agreed they would not use video or audio from the event and Susan Platt, a Farm Team founder, emailed Moran today to complain. Jesse Ferguson, a Moran spokesman, said this evening that the video used only a short clip from the event and it will be removed. "It's not fair for one campaign to break the rules when the other two have abided by them," Platt said in an interview....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 5, 2009; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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Big Labor Helped Republicans Too

Every time the Democratic Governors Association (and its Virginia-based arm Common Sense Virginia) attacks Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell, his staff is quick to point out that that the groups are funded by big unions. Phil Cox, McDonnell's campaign manager, even sent out a fundraising letter today with a subject line "National Unions Attack Bob McDonnell" to combat Common Sense Virginia's new advertsing campaign. Not so fast. It turns out the Republican Governors Association has received plenty of money from them too....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 5, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Hold the Politics

First, a Virginia burger. Next up, shad. President Obama and Vice President Biden today crossed the Potomac to grab lunch in the Commonwealth at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington. Have your own Virginia-themed caption for this photo? Suggest away in the comments section....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 5, 2009; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Group Launches Anti-McDonnell TV Ads

The most expensive ad campaign of the Virginia governor's race so far is not from the three Democrats running in the June primary. It's from Common Sense Virginia, a new group that formed with money from the Democratic Governors Association to oppose Republican Robert F. McDonnell. The group is spending more than half a million dollars on broadcast and cable TV in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke starting today. They are the first ads in the governor's race to be aired in Northern Virginia. The ad, "Empty," highlights McDonnell's opposition to Virginia's acceptance of $125 million in federal stimulus money for additional unemployment benefits to thousands of Virginians....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 5, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Hackers Break Into State Prescriptions Database, Demand Ransom

Security Fix blogger Brian Krebs reports that hackers last week broke into a Virginia state Web site used by pharmacists to track prescription drug abuse. They deleted records on more than 8 million patients and replaced the site's homepage with a ransom note demanding $10 million for the return of the records, according to a posting on Wikileaks.org, an online clearinghouse for leaked documents. Wikileaks reports that the Web site for the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was defaced last week with a message claiming that the database of prescriptions had been bundled into an encrypted, password-protected file. Wikileaks has published a copy of the ransom note left in place of the PMP home page, a message that claims the state of Virginia would need to pay the demand in order to gain access to a password needed to unlock those records, See the full post over at the Security Fix...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  May 4, 2009; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Yes, McAuliffe, Can?

First Bill Clinton, now will.I.am. The Terry McAuliffe camp has announced that musician, actor, Fergie-friend and all-around-cool guy will.I.am will campaign with McAuliffe campaign at a series of events on May 11. Singer will.i.am performs at the Neighborhood InauguralBall in Washington on Jan. 20. (AP Photo) Besides once again adding a sheen of celeb excitement to the campaign, the will.i.am appearances may be designed to innocolate McAuliffe against charges that he was not sufficiently supportive of President Obama, given McAuliffe's role as Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 4, 2009; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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Frederick Declines to Run for GOP Leader

Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell is breathing a sigh of relief this afternoon. Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, ousted chairman of the Republican Party, just announced that he will not run for party leader at the state convention later this month. McDonnell supported Frederick's removal last month and, according to Republican leaders, had told Frederick that he would support his re-election campaign for House of Delegates if he agreed not to run for chairman. Frederick of Prince William County said today he would not run for re-election to the House. His wife Amy planned to run, but last week she withdrew from the race....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 4, 2009; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Is McDonnell Looking to Wilder for Support?

Is Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell looking for an endorsement from former Democratic governor L. Douglas Wilder? McDonnell and Wilder, who have had a good working relationship for years, are having lunch today, according to sources close to McDonnell. All three Democratic candidates -- R. Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran -- have already met with Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, to seek an endorsement and advice on how to run a successful statewide campaign....

By Anita Kumar  |  May 4, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Deeds Goes Up on Air

Gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds has been saving his pennies, while his Democratic rivals Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran have been spending at a fast pace. Now we know why. Deeds began airing two TV ads today in four markets -- Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke and Bristol -- in Virginia. McAuliffe has aired ads on and off for months, but Moran has not aired any. See below to watch Deeds' two new ads:...

By Anita Kumar  |  May 4, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Bill Clinton Steps Into Arlington Delegate Race

Former President Bill Clinton has endorsed Adam Parkhomenko, one of five candidates for the House of Delegates' 47th District seat in Arlington. If that feels like a nice get for Parkhomenko, it is: The longtime aide to Hillary Clinton (he was Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's top assistant) has parlayed his political relationships into a healthy list of campaign donors and endorsements that have distinguished him from his four opponents in the June 9 primary. But the Clinton call has also irked some local Arlington Democrats who are supporting other candidates. Parkhomenko, a lifelong Arlington resident, is just 23. He is not universally viewed by local activists as the best candidate for the job. Even those who are neutral in the race said they were surprised by the endorsement. Del. Bob Brink of the adjacent 48th District is among them, but Brink also wondered whether in the end it...

By Amy Gardner  |  May 4, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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McAuliffe's Business Background: For and Against

Democratic gubernatorial contender Brian Moran wasn't the only one ready to respond to a Washington Post article published today on rival Terry McAuliffe's background mingling business and politics. At 1:22 a.m., a few hours after the story posted to the Post's web page, Moran spokesman Jesse Ferguson issued a blistering press release highlighting the article's premise that McAuliffe's history of intricate partnerships and investments, often with political associates, could prove to be a liability in the governor's race. But wait: Flash back to 10:51 p.m. yesterday, less than two hours after the story appeared. That's when Team McAuliffe hit the send button on an extensive dissertation defending his business bio (and circling back nicely to his campaign themes of creating jobs, supporting President Obama and listening to the Virginia grassroots). If McAuliffe's response appears a bit defensive, it certainly wins the prize for thoroughness and speed. Or maybe awards should...

By Amy Gardner  |  May 3, 2009; 9:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner  
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