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Virginia Politics Blog: August 2, 2009 - August 8, 2009

McDonnell's National Address

Republican Bob McDonnell's address to the nation this morning sounded a lot like other speeches he has given on the campaign trail -- with an emphasis on jobs, the economy and the federal cap-and-trade bill. "As I travel throughout Virginia, I listen to our people who are concerned about the jobs they have, worried about finding the jobs they need, and concerned about what jobs will be available for their kids in the years ahead,'' he said. "As a father of five, I share those same concerns; that's why our main goal is to bring Virginians together to create jobs and more opportunities all across our state." McDonnell also mentioned education (even praising President Obama on the issue), healthcare (opposing the Democrats plans on Capitol Hill), offshore oil drilling and, of course, this being Virginia, transportation. U.S. House GOP leader John Boehner tapped McDonnell to deliver what is commonly...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 8, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell Hits the Road

Bob McDonnell will starting traveling the state in an RV tomorrow as part of his month-long "New Jobs, More Opportunities" tour. The tour kicks off at the Patrick County Peach Festival in Stuart and ends on Labor Day at the Buena Vista Labor Day Parade. In the first week, McDonnell plans to travel more than 1,500 miles and unveil four policy proposals. His wife, Maureen, will accompany him for about half the tour. "There isn't one region of Virginia we won't visit; there isn't one single vote we will write off,'' he said....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 7, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Dems Attack McDonnell on Sotomayor

Virginia Democrats tried to use yesterday's historic confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to bash Bob McDonnell today on his lack of support for the new Supreme Court justice. McDonnell never said he was opposed to Sotomayor, but he never said he supported her either. In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Emma Violand-Sanchez, an Arlington School Board Member and yes, a Democrat, said she was disappointed McDonnell did not take a position. Carlos del Toro, a business leader and yes, a Creigh Deeds supporter, said McDonnell is being hypocritical on issues important to the Latino community. "Bob McDonnell had an opportunity to come out of the partisan fray," he said....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 7, 2009; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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The Kitchen Table

Welcome to a new weekly feature on the Virginia politics blog called "The Kitchen Table," which we hope will bring you interesting and illuminating glimpses into the lives of those regular folks who probably don't read this blog but dutifully embrace their democratic responsibilities when called upon to do so. We're talking about voters. Our first installment takes us to the McLean Hilton, where President Obama made his first public appearance with Creigh Deeds (D) yesterday in support of the latter's run for governor. Earlier this week we told you about how some people's anxiety over Obama's domestic agenda could influence their vote for governor this fall, to Republican Bob McDonnell's advantage. But the 1,500 who showed up for yesterday's rally proved that Obama's blessing was still a major plus for a lot of voters. Some, like Bonnae Powers, 43, a human resources director from Fairfax, were drawn by a...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  August 7, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2008/President , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Organizing for America and for Deeds?

President Obama may have told supporters in Tysons Corner Thursday to get "fired up" for Creigh Deeds, but it's still a little uncertain how much support Deeds will get from Organizing for America, Obama's grassroots operation. Negotiations are under way between campaign officials and OFA about whether the national group can send more hands over to Deeds Country, several Virginia Democratic sources said this week. Several Obama volunteers said OFA's got them working exclusively on promoting health care reform to work for Deeds. Although Thursday was a good day for Deeds, who joined President Obama at a rally and fundraiser in Tysons Corner, Deeds wants more -- he needs the shoe-leather of those volunteers who manned phones and walked neighborhoods last year on behalf of Obama. Obama urged those supporters to action -- and prompted thunderous cheers -- in a fiery speech at the McLean Hilton. But will his organization...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 7, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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First Click - Virginia

Aug. 7, 2009 Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today. Lots of news coming out of Virginia. President Obama was here yesterday after all. Obama tried to provide a boost to Creigh Deeds campaign, appearing before 1,500 cheering, sign-waving supporters at the McLean Hilton Tysons Corner. Obama talked up the Democratic nominee for governor, but used the opportunity to defend his own record too. While Deeds was with Obama, Republican rival Bob McDonnell attended former Congresswoman Thelma Drake's annual party on the pier in Norfolk. Deeds was endorsed by the Teamsters yesterday --- though he didn't tell anyone. Expect McDonnell and the Republicans to be more than willing to do it for him as they continued to attack him for being tied to big labor (and therefore anti-business)....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 7, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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President Tells His Backers To Get 'Fired Up' for Deeds

The first Democratic president to win Virginia in more than four decades encouraged his supporters Thursday night to return to the polls in November and elect Democrat R. Creigh Deeds governor. President Obama met first with about 200 of Deeds's top donors and then rallied with about 1,500 cheering, sign-waving Deeds supporters in a ballroom at the McLean Hilton Tysons Corner. Obama said Sen. Mark Warner and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, both Democrats, had created a tradition of pragmatic, bipartisan leadership that helped the state weather the economic recession better than others. "That's not just a stroke of good luck here in the state of Virginia," the president told the crowd. "It's because you stood up and chose that kind of politics. . . . Now you've got the chance to keep moving forward with someone who's cut from the same cloth, somebody who has that same vision for the...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  August 7, 2009; 1:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman  
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Pool Report for Deeds Fundraiser

We were the pooler for the Virginia press corps at the fundraiser with President Obama held just before tonight's rally. Here's the pool report we filed. More coverage of the full event will be posted at www.washingtonpost.com shortly. About 200 top donors crowded an atrium at the Hilton Hotel in McLean, Va., just off the main ballroom, for a closed fundraiser preceding the main event in the room next door. There was a bar along the right-hand wall and a podium at the front of the room backed by a velvet blue curtain. From the pool hold, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine could be heard introducing state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds. "As governor and lieutenant governor, I had a chance to work with everyone in state government," he said. "I got to know Creigh very very well. In tough times, you've got to show you have a backbone, you've got a...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 6, 2009; 9:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Obama Backers and One Small Protest

A bit of the excitement from the fall Obama rallies pervaded the Hilton ballroom tonight as hundreds hundreds waited for the 6 p.m. program to begin (it was running a little late). Outside vendors peddled Obama merchandise, with a few Michael Jackson pins slipped in for good measure. Inside the jam-packed ballroom, some sipped wine or cocktails while others watched for every twitch of the blue curtain, hoping that one of the evening's political stars would emerge. "I told everybody at work I was going to see the president," said Ally Taylor, 48, a telecom company controller from Manassas. She and her husband, Rob Taylor, 42, sat in chairs away from the crowd and spoke of their hope that Obama's presence would boost Deeds's name recognition. "I think his biggest obstacle is going to be to get people to know who he is and not make it a referendum on...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  August 6, 2009; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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Kaine's Timing

Gov. Tim Kaine had three years and seven months to announce his decision to pardon the former sailors convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1997 in the infamous Norfolk 4 case. But Kaine, the outgoing governor and DNC chairman, waited until today--when President Obama is in Virginia to campaign with Creigh Deeds. Strange timing? Campaign staffers, political insiders and reporters were certainly scratching their heads about Kaine's motives. No one really thought he was trying to take the spotlight away from Deeds and Obama, but it kind of worked out that way....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Ballroom Filling for Deeds Rally

So it's not exactly the Comcast Center on the eve of the Potomac Primary last February, when 20,000 people showed up in the bitter cold to hear then candidate Barack Obama. But there's pretty serious energy going in the ballroom of the McLean Hilton, which is rapidly filling as we're about to hit the one-hour mark before the start of tonight's pre-rally. (We're two hours out from tonight's main event, featuring President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.) (Editor's Note: Streaming video of the rally will not be available after all. Our apologies.) The stage is set rally style, backed by an enormous American flag. A cash bar sits oh-so-close, yet oh-so-far from the roped off media section. Soft cocktail party music is playing. The roads on the way in were lined with Deeds/Wagner/Shannon signs, and the parking lot was full of cars with Obama stickers. There's no sign...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 6, 2009; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell 51, Deeds 43

As we've explained before we don't trust all the polls that come out during the governor's race, but here's one that we can tell you about. A DailyKos/Research 2000 poll on the governor's race shows that Republican Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds among likely voters, 51 percent to 43 percent. Back in mid-June, McDonnell had 45 percent and Deeds 44 percent. Check out the favorable numbers: McDonnell at 57 percent, Deeds at 46 percent. The left-leaning Daily Kos tells us that undecided voters gradually have gotten behind McDonnell with gains coming primarily from independents and a handful of Democrats....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2009; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine's Full Statement on 'Norfolk 4' Case

* Kaine Grants Conditional Pardons in 'Norfolk 4' Case * Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday afternoon granted conditional pardons to three members of the "Norfolk 4," clearing the way for the former sailors to be released from prison, where they were serving life sentences for the 1997 rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk. Read the governor's full statement after the jump...

By Mike McPhate  |  August 6, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Timothy M. Kaine  
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Deeds Takes Page from Obama; Stay Tuned for Rally Coverage

Creigh Deeds looks to be trying to use tonight's rally with President Obama to inject a little oomph into his campaign for governor. He just announced a new "Join Deeds" effort to build grassroots support, complete with a revamped Web site (now featuring an enormous photo of Obama), a text messaging push (today's message welcomes Obama and tells recipients -- you guessed it -- "yes we can") and two new radio ads recorded by Gov. Tim Kaine. One ad appears aimed at Latino voters -- it's in Spanish, after all. The other talks about education and African-American unemployment rates. Stay tuned to The Washington Post for full coverage of tonight's rally, including streaming video....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 6, 2009; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Democrats Targets Wolf on Health Care

The health care debate is hitting the road. Expect to hear plenty about it during Congress's monthlong August recess. Here in Virginia, national Democrats have started making calls -- both automated and live -- in Rep. Frank Wolf's Northern Virginia district to push him to to support President Obama's health care plan. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting 25 Republicans as part of a program called "Health Care ER" that includes radio ads, phone calls, mass e-mails, letters to the editor, online petitions and teleconference town halls. "Time and again, Republicans including Rep. Wolf protect a broken system of skyrocketing costs, insurance companies making health care decisions, and record-setting insurance company profits instead of working with President Obama to bring real health insurance reform for middle class families," said Jon Vogel, executive director. Wolf spokesman Dan Scandling called the attack "standard operating procedure," and said his office is receiving...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Frank R. Wolf  
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First Click-Virginia

Aug. 6, 2009 Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today. It's Obama day. Or rather the day of Obama evening. The president will appear at a rally with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds at the McLean Hilton this evening at 7 p.m. Just before, he'll address a smaller crowd at a closed fundraiser. For all the fretting lately about Obama's dropping approval numbers, the man did get 1.7 million votes in Virginia just eight months ago. This won't be his last trip to Virginia before November. (Did we say 1.7 million? Apologies. That should be *1.96* million votes.) Republican Bob McDonnell will get a national stage on which to respond Saturday, as he delivers the response to Obama's weekly radio/youtube video address. As the candidates make forays onto the national stage, some inconsistencies on both sides about how federal issues should play in the race. Deeds...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 6, 2009; 7:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell to Deliver National Address

Here's just one more sign that the national spotlight is on Virginia's gubernatorial race. Bob McDonnell has been tapped by U.S. House GOP leader John Boehner to deliver the weekly Republican address this Saturday. His comments, which will air on national TV and radio, will focus on opportunities to create jobs in Virginia and in the United States....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 5, 2009; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Macker Returns

Terry McAuliffe has made his first entry into the gubernatorial race since embracing Creigh Deeds after losing to him in the June 9 primary. In an email to supporters today, McAuliffe encourages people to sign a Deeds petition calling on Republican Bob McDonnell to apologize for Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins' remark that some college students in Wise County "preferred welfare to work." "It's clear that Bob McDonnell has totally lost touch with what Virginians are going through, and we need to put the pressure on him," McAuliffe wrote....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 5, 2009; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Beyer's Going-Away Party

Tonight, a who's who of Virginia politics will attend a lavish party in honor of the soon-to-be ambassador to Switzerland, Don Beyer. The garden party will take place at the Old Town Alexandria home of David Abshire, a former ambassador himself (to NATO). Hope it doesn't rain. Two hundred people is a lot to have in your house. Unless maybe you are Abshire and have an undoubtedly large house that was featured in the 2000 Kevin Bacon movie Hollow Man. Hosts include Sen. Mark Warner, former senator John Warner and former governor Chuck Robb and their wives. Guest include Susan Eisenhower (yes, that Eisenhower -- granddaughter of the former president), Rep. Jim Moran, William Webster, former director of the FBI and CIA and Mack McLarty, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton. There will also be a few ambassadors in attendance: the ambassador to Liechtenstein, former ambassador to the European...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 5, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , John W. Warner , Mark Warner  
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House Call!

Hello everyone! And welcome to House Call, the Virginia Politics blog's new weekly feature that will focus on, yep, you guessed it -- the House of Delegates! Call me a geek, but there are few subjects I'd rather blog than the murky depths of this year's down-ballot races. Where else is a senior appropriator in the political fight of his life (and under investigation) for budgeting state money to his future employer? And where else is the seat of the former chairman of the state GOP one of the Democrats' top targets? And where else did a challenger from the Northern Neck urge supporters to take to the bullet box if the ballot box didn't work out? Forget about the fireworks, though. There's a lot of serious business at stake in the House of Delegates, the lower house of the General Assembly where all 100 seats are up for election...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 5, 2009; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Virginia Notebook: Tour Shows Deeds is a Little Bit Country

One thing about "Deeds Country," as the swath of rural Virginia extending through the Shenandoah Valley and down into southwest where state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds has been touring this week has been dubbed by his campaign: It apparently isn't Obama Country. Outside stops in the more urban settings of Charlottesville, Danville and Blacksburg, many of the 20 visits Deeds is making on a nine-day campaign swing that begun Sunday are in places where President Barack Obama was beaten handily by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Appomattox, Hillsville, Tazewell, Floyd. All are areas where Obama did not break 35 percent of the vote....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 5, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman , Virginia Notebook  
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Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug 5, 2009 Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today. The Creigh Deeds team prepares for their big rally with President Obama tomorrow. This as polls show Obama's popularity slipping and some independents in Virginia start to get impatient at the pace of Obama change. All ears will be on the speeches Thursday to see whether Obama plays ball on the Deeds "all Virginia" strategy. Deeds gets to write his own speech. Not so much the president's. Remember those tv ads slamming the Virginia GOP for rejecting unemployment insurance dollars from the stimulus package? Deeds does too. It seemed to be an economic winner for Dems. Deeds says the General Assembly should take up the issue next year. Republican Bob McDonnell is pushing again for more debates, this time seven. Deeds communications director Mike Gehrke says, nah, we're good. (Actually: "As far we're concerned, we've got...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 5, 2009; 7:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Election 2010 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell: I Am Not a Birther

Okay, he didn't say that exactly. In fact, one might fairly surmise that Republican Bob McDonnell wanted to change the subject pretty darn quickly. But during an online video chat with The Richmond Times-Dispatch, McDonnell had this exchange with reporter Tyler Whitley. Whitley: Do you believe that President Obama was born in the United States? McDonnell: President Obama is a citizen; he is the president of the United States. That's all, folks. Perhaps this issue goes away, perhaps it doesn't. There is much Democratic buzz right now about polls (of varying reputation) showing how many Republicans don't believe Obama was born in the United States. But McDonnell's quick dismissal of the issue, which he has called a "distraction," could suffice. Disclosure: The Times-Dispatch's "Ask the Candidate" chat relied on questions from viewers, including this e-mailed submission from me. For those wanting to listen to the audio directly, here it is....

By Amy Gardner  |  August 4, 2009; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine Defends Decision on Va Tech

This morning, Gov. Tim Kaine defended his decision not to reconvene a special panel on the Virginia Tech massacre, as had been requested by more than 60 family members and survivors last week. "There are some who want it re-opened and there are some who definitely don't want it re-opened,'' Kaine told reporters at a news conference. "This is a very, very painful and sensitive subject. The family members are not alike. It would be wrong to expect everyone to grieve the same way." Kaine declined to say how many families have asked him to not recovene the special panel. He said he will accept any factual corrections families wish to make to the report until Aug. 19. At that point, TriData, the independent public safety consulting firm that helped the panel write the original report in 2007, will review proposed corrections and submit a report to the governor. Kaine...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Cuccinelli Puts His Money Where His Ear Is

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for attorney general, sure does like his property rights. He's even willing to give up his cell phone to make the point. Cuccinelli switched cell phone companies this week after learning that Verizon, his previous carrier, was supporting Democratic opponent Steve Shannon. Verizon and Cuccinelli have a history of disagreeing over how much power the company should have to lay cable across private property. "They have always been strongly outspoken because of my position," Cuccinelli said. "They have to be respectful to everybody else in the process and that includes the property owner whose land they want to cross, and that's an inconvenience for them." "People don't support me, I'm not going to support them." Cuccinelli was speaking, incidentally, on his new Sprint telephone....

By Amy Gardner  |  August 4, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug. 4, 2009 Good morning. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today. Federal prosecutors in Virginia are quietly but vigorously lobbying for the chance to try big name terror suspects in Alexandria. Bob McDonnell says no thanks. No word yet from Gov. Tim Kaine, who has previously said he has faith in President Obama's handling of the issue or from Creigh Deeds, who has in the past called Gitmo prisoners in Virginia a "bad idea." That's one to watch. Deeds, conveniently still on his tour of rural "Deeds Country," says McDonnell "doesn't get" rural Virginia because of a comment by McDonnell's party chairman Pat Mullins that some college students in Wise preferred welfare to work. Also because he supports Bush economic policies. The GOP says Deeds doesn't get rural Virginia because he supports Obama economic policy. Give this to the folks at Public Policy Poll. They do a...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 4, 2009; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James Webb , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Text of E-Mail to Va. Tech Families

* Kaine Rejects Request to Reconvene Va. Tech Panel * Dear Families, I am writing in response to your public statement requesting a reconvene of the Virginia Tech Review Panel chaired by Gerald Massengill. The Governor greatly appreciates the concerns you have raised and agrees it is of critical importance that there be as complete and accurate an accounting of the events on April 16, 2007 as is possible. As you know, we committed to you last fall that we would take a look at any suggestions you--and others--have regarding corrections or revisions to the report issued by the Review Panel. We have a process in place to review these suggestions and have asked that submissions be made by August 19. We are engaging TriData, the independent professional staff that worked with the Panel on the original report, to review the suggested changes to the factual narrative and provide a...

By Mike McPhate  |  August 3, 2009; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Timothy M. Kaine  
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Deeds, Cranwell: Mullins Comment Just Like Bush

The great thing about party chairmen is they can say all the hard edged partisan things that rev up the base but probably shouldn't come out of the mouth of a political candidate running as a pragmatic moderate. The difficult thing about party chairmen is they say all the hard edged partisan things that probably shouldn't be said anywhere in the vicinity of a political candidate trying to run as a pragmatic moderate. Democratic Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and Democratic state party chairman Richard Cranwell held a conference call this morning to blast a comment made recently by Cranwell's counterpart, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins. At a recent speech in Monterey, Mullins told a story about insurance office forced to close in Wise, not because of the economy but because they couldn't recruit needed employees, even at a local college. "They preferred to be on welfare," Mullins said....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 3, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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On the Record

Today we introduce the first installment of what will be a regular feature here on the Virginia Politics blog -- a funny, outrageous or otherwise memorable quote from someone in the state's political world. Campaign season is in full swing so you can expect many of the quotes to come from the candidates or their staffers. Unless Joe Biden comes to Virginia, then you can expect many of the quotes to come from him! Have a quote you want to share? Email me. Now onto today's quote: Today's quote: "Growing up in southwest Virginia taught me many important values, like the importance of hard work, loyalty, and the power of education," Creigh Deeds wrote in the first line of his email to supporters Sunday. Nice line. The only problem is Deeds didn't grow up in southwest Virginia. He grew up in Bath County, which is the western part of the...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 3, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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Daily Virginia Roundup

Aug. 3, 2009 Good morning, Virginia. Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today. It's a big week for the Creigh Deeds campaign. Thursday will find Deeds trying to jazz supporters at the side of the popular President of the United States in McLean. He's hoping that will put to an end discussions like this one suggesting he wants Obama's donors and excitement, but not his policies.But what will they talk about? We're betting not health care, if Deeds had his druthers. Maybe George Bush instead? Before and after the NoVa Obama rally, Deeds travels through newly dubbed Deeds Country, southwest and western Virginia, kicked off yesterday in Charlottesville. Mark Warner won the state in part by making a credible play in such communities, long lost to Democrats, edging up in his numbers there and weakening the Republican base. Of course, the last two Democrats to win state office...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 3, 2009; 7:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James Webb , Mark Warner , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine , Transportation  
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Deeds Kicks off Statewide Tour

A couple weeks ago we told you how the gubernatorial candidates had been largely absent from the campaign trail, chosing instead to spend much of the summer hunkered down, amassing resources and plotting strategy. Those days are over. Today, Democrat Creigh Deeds kicked off a 21-stop "Deeds Country" tour that will take him to the state's largely Republican-leaning areas -- the Shenandoah Valley, Southside and Southwest -- over the next week. "Because of my rural background, because of where I live, I believe that I am going to do better than a lot of Democrats in areas like that,'' Deeds said. "To often Democrats concede certain areas. I'm not going to concede one square inch of terrority." Not to be outdone, Republican Bob McDonnell plans to spend much of August traveling the state in a Winnebago. "Every region of the state is going to be hard fought,'' McDonnell said. "I'm...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 2, 2009; 8:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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