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Virginia Politics Blog: June 21, 2009 - June 27, 2009

Experts Weigh in on Keys to November Victory

The Post's editorial staff surveyed some of the top names in Virginia politics and punditry, asking what it will take for Creigh Deeds or Bob McDonnell to win the governor's mansion in the fall. The results range the spectrum. Gov. Tim Kaine thinks the election is about continuing the governing approach advanced by he and former Gov. Mark Warner. So does top Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee. But analyst and blogger Bob Holsworth warns Deeds not to tie himself too closely to Warner and Kaine in an uncertain times; voters will want to see Deeds be his own man. Author Garrett Epps and Republican strategist J. Kenneth Klinge agree the race will likely be won in the suburbs. Republican Del. H. Morgan Griffith says both candidates should master the policy details because voters are itching for substance. The selections all make for some very interesting reading. They'll be published in tomorrow's...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 27, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Frank R. Wolf , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Kaine to Mullins: No Travel Records For You

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today declined to release his daily schedule since January, when he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee, despite a Freedom of Information Act request to do so from the Republican Party of Virginia. Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran said, although the governor releases his public schedule every week, private meetings are exempt from disclosure as are records of his schedule that relate to is work for the DNC, which is not a public entity. Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP, had also asked for all records relating to the cost to state taxpayers of the governor's out-of-state travel, but Tran said those records are not with the Governor's Office but with the Virginia State Police. Kaine has come under increasing scrutiny in the press and from Republicans for his travels as DNC chairman, some of which has occurred on weekdays and taken him away from...

By Amy Gardner  |  June 26, 2009; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Deeds Takes Fire From Gingrich Group

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds is under fire in a full-page newspaper ad in Charlottesville that demands that he take a stand on a federal energy bill that could come up for a vote on Capitol Hill today. The ad was paid for by American Solutions for Winning the Future, an organization founded and led by former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The group launched a major media campaign this week to defeat the federal bill, which it terms a "national energy tax." Click here to view the ad....

By Amy Gardner  |  June 26, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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Davis: 'Probably Not' on Cyber Czar

Tom Davis, the former Republican congressman from Fairfax County and now a director with Deloitte's Federal Government Services division, said he (probably) won't take a job as President Obama's new cyber security czar. Although Davis prefaced his remarks by saying, "Never say never," he said the job's scope and authority are too uncertain. He also said he is pretty darn happy at Deloitte, where, presumably, he makes a little more than he did in Congress (and than he would as cyber czar). "If I were going to stay in government, I think I would have stayed in Congress," Davis said. "I wish them well."...

By Amy Gardner  |  June 26, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Barack Obama  
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DPV Gets Interim Director

Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell has alerted state Democrats that the party has named an interim executive director. Leigh Anne Collier will fill the job through November. Collier served as deputy executive director for finance and operations from March 2008 until February. Collier replaces Levar Stoney, who left the party to work as political director for state Sen. Creigh Deeds' campaign for governor....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 25, 2009; 9:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Rosalind Helderman  
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Under the Wire

Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement today "applauding" Virginia for finalizing, with 12 days to spare, its list of transportation projects to be funded under the federal stimulus plan. OK, every state probably got its own "way-to-go" letter (as evidenced by the link above, which will send you to a generic version of the Virginia letter that went out via e-mail). But Virginia's is a bit more significant, because as Anita Kumar reported last week, Virginia was the last state to submit its list of shovel-ready projects to the federal government. The deadline was June 29....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 25, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Rumors Untrue, Say Hudgins, Hyland

Cathy Hudgins and Gerry Hyland would like to set the record straight: neither is stepping down from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Rumors have been swirling that Hudgins got a job at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and would be resigning from the board. Completely false, Hudgins said Thursday. "I have not gotten a job at HUD. I did not apply for a job at HUD. They have not offered me a job at HUD," said Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), adding that she plans to run for reelection when her third term expires in two years. "I'm having a good time doing what I do and I expect to be here a long time." Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) said earlier this week that he was rather taken aback to learn that a number of fellow Democrats have already announced their interest in running for his seat. He believes...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 25, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Kaine's Travel Adventures

View An Often-Absent Governor in a larger map Despite saying he would largely conduct Democratic National Committee work on weekends, Gov. Tim Kaine spent yesterday in Philadelphia on DNC business. He will do the same next Monday when he travels to New York. The Washington Post has learned that Kaine, the new DNC chairman, has been to North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio in recent months in addition to attending frequent fundraisers across the state and in Washington. Read our story today here. Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a nonprofit group in Washington that monitors government ethics issues, said in an interview this week that he did not think Kaine should have taken the DNC job while he was still governor, but since he did he should be upfront about what he is doing. "If he is going to do two jobs he has to do...

By Anita Kumar  |  June 25, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell: No Money Directly from Sanford

It looks like Bob McDonnell has not received any donations from Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who today acknowledged an affair with a woman in Argentina was to explain for his recent mysterious disappearance from the state he leads. McDonnell must be breathing a sigh of relief not to have the Republican governor's name on his donor rolls. McDonnell has taken money--lots and lots of money--from the Republican Governor's Association while it was chaired by Sanford, however. (Sanford announced today he was resigning the RGA's top post.) That means there are photos of the two together. Do the pics say much about anything? Not really. But they're mildly embarrassing to McDonnell, so they're getting posted about on the blogs....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 24, 2009; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell Returns to Airwaves

The television ads are returning. After just a couple of weeks of politics-free airwaves, a spokeswoman for Bob McDonnell confirms he will begin airing ads again at the end of this week. Ads will go up in downstate markets--Bristol, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville--all will receive McDonnell ads. We don't yet know what the ads will be about, but they've already made their way into a fundraising appeal for McDonnell rival Creigh Deeds. "I wanted you to be the first to know: I just learned that Bob McDonnell will begin running ads across Virginia starting in the next 48 hours," Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey wrote in an email to supporters. Abbey goes on to say that Deeds hopes to raise $100,000 online by June 30. UPDATE: Here's the first one, "Resurgence":...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 24, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Amundsen to Retire, Surovell to Run

Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) announced today she was retiring after ten years in the House. Amundson, who has her own communications firm, said she was stepping down at the end of her term this year for financial reasons. "For most of these years, I have been able to put together enough freelance and consulting work to allow me to continue in public office," she wrote in a letter to constituents. "All that changed with the recession. Among the cutbacks that many businesses have made are the consulting services that made up the bulk of my income. Campaigning is a full time job. So I have made the difficult decision not to run for reelection to the House of Delegates." Running for her eastern Fairfax County seat will be Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chairman Scott A. Surovell. Surovell, who is no stranger to this blog, said he will resign from...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  June 24, 2009; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Kaine on Travel

Gov. Tim Kaine said today that the Democratic National Committee has agreed to reimburse Virginia for the travel costs for his security detail when he travels for the DNC. The DNC also reimburses the costs of Kaine's own travel. "The idea is no state costs for out-of-state trips," he said, noting that similar reimbursement has not occurred with previous governors--hint, hint, former Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Gilmore....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 23, 2009; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Kaine's Latest Fundraising Trips

We may not know when Gov. Tim Kaine is flying around the country for the DNC, but we are starting to get a better idea of when he is doing his in-state fundraising. Tonight, Kaine attended at a fundraiser for Del. Chuck Caputo at the Centreville home of Steve and Lu Ann McNabb, friends of a family of a Tech student who died in the 2007 shootings. Tomorrow night, he is expected at a fundraiser for Del. Joe Morrissey at Old City Bar in Richmond. Saturday afternoon, he will head to Virginia Beach for a barbeque with Sen. John Miller and a fundraiser for Del. Joe Bouchard. No word on whether Kaine is heading out of state this week for DNC fundraising trips. As usual, we will let you know when we know....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 22, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Barbour Helps Raise $250,000 for McDonnell

It seems like every Republican considering a possible presidential run in 2012 is coming to Virginia to help Bob McDonnell and, in the process, raising their profile in the swing state. Haley Barbour was just the latest. The Mississippi governor is spending the day with McDonnell at fundraisers in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Alexandria. The Richmond event at the Marriott was attended by House Speaker Bill Howell and Attorney General Bill Mims, among others. The three events are expected to raise $250,000....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 22, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Howell Refutes Kaine on Transportation

Last Sunday, Gov. Tim Kaine wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post blaming state transportation woes on House Republicans. Today, House Speaker Bill Howell offers his response. Check it out here. For a few years, transportation was the issue in Virginia. It died down this year, but these two pieces are a clear sign that transportation will play a significant role in this year's House elections....

By Anita Kumar  |  June 21, 2009; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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