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Virginia Politics Blog: August 23, 2009 - August 29, 2009

Republicans Gather In Richmond

More than 350 Republican activists from around the state will gather at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond tonight to hear from the party's three statewide candidates -- Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli. Also speaking: former governors George Allen and Jim Gilmore and former U.S. Rep. Davis. Rep. Rob Wittman, House Speaker Bill Howell and several members of the General Assembly will be in attendance. The "Victory Dinner," an annual fundraiser for the state party, will raise about $250,000....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 28, 2009; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Ad Watch: "No Good Deeds"

The ads are coming fast and furious. And we told you that when they started, we'd be analyzing the commercials, picking apart claims made by the campaigns and assessing the messages they are intending to send. Here's our latest installment: a Republican Governors Association ad -- the first one of the general election -- attacking Democrat Creigh Deeds, which began airing Wednesday....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 28, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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First Click - Virginia

Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 Happy Friday! The campaigns are firing more ads into the sky -- as sure a sign as any that Labor Day is approaching. Here's the latest ad from Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, with a tough smack on Republican Robert F. McDonnell linking him to the economic policies of former President George W. Bush. Deeds has a busy day planned: He'll start in Staunton this morning with an event with small business owners, head to Waynesboro for a campaign office opening, swing through Clifton Forge for a quick visit with diners at a local restaurant, speak to the annual dinner of the Virginia Loggers Association in Lexington and then head to Covington for the big game of the day: Alleghany High vs. Covington High. The best part of the schedule appears to be how close it will deposit Deeds to his home in Bath County once this...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 28, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , First Click  
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House Speaker Pushes for Drilling

In certain districts in Southside, Southwest and along the I-81 corridor, Republicans are hoping the hot-button issue of offshore drilling may work to their advantage in the House of Delegates races. So House Speaker Bill Howell (R) is trying to push the issue to the forefront by sending a letter this week to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking for the federal government to allow for the exploration of oil and gas off Virginia's coast. His letter comes after Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) sent his own letter to Salazar earlier this year asking for a delay in drilling off the Virginia coast. "The expedited lease of the 2.9 million acres 50 miles offshore of Virginia would significantly improve Virginia's - and America's - energy security as well as assist in meeting that growing demand,'' Howell wrote in his letter. "Developing these resources would create thousands of new jobs in...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 27, 2009; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2009  
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Deeds Ad Hits McDonnell on Bush

The governor's race ads are getting tougher. First, the Republican Governor's Association hit Creigh Deeds on spending. Now, Deeds has put out a variant of the happy, shiny ad he first aired last week. It addresses similar themes as his first spot--Deeds will govern like Warner, offer tax credits to businesses that create jobs, audit state agencies. But this time around, instead of merely mentioning that he won't govern like George Bush, Deeds makes the link between Republican Bob McDonnell and Bush explicit. The Deeds camp says the ad will be airing in all Virginia media markets except pricey NoVa....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 27, 2009; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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TV Ads Target Wolf, Cantor

The liberal group Americans United for Change is airing TV ads criticizing U.S. Reps. Frank Wolf of Northern Virginia and Eric Cantor of Richmond for voting against a climate bill that would establish limits on greenhouse gases, create a trading system for emission permits and provide incentives to alter how companies use energy. The group is spending $430,000 on the ads, which began airing this week and will run through Sept. 7. The "Dear Congressman" ads will run on cable TV in Washington (for Wolf) and on broadcast TV in Richmond (for Cantor)....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 27, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Frank R. Wolf  
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Virginia Democratic Party to Donate Donation

Creigh Deeds has taken no money from indicted New York financier Hassan Nemazee. But it turns out the Democratic Party of Virginia received a $25,000 check from Nemazee last September. According to Allison Jaslow, the party plans to give the donation to charity. Top Democrats have been racing to distance themselves from Nemazee, indicted for lying about his assets to get a $74 million loan from Citibank. "We found out and decided we'd do the right thing and give it to charity," she said. "We wanted everyone to know that we know."...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 27, 2009; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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The Kitchen Table: Greenspring Village on the Governor's Race

This week's Kitchen Table takes us to Greenspring Village, a retirement community in Springfield and one of the most politically engaged communities in the state. Just about every candidate running for Fairfax County or statewide office makes at least one swing through this tree-lined 100-acre campus, and no wonder: turnout in last fall's election was 87 percent of its 1,945 registered voters (and just about everyone here is registered to vote). So it's perhaps no surprise that Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D), a former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who knows these residents well, on Tuesday held a healthcare town hall meeting at Greenspring Village. (You can meet some of these residents in a video published on washingtonpost.com.)...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  August 27, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2010 , Gerald E. Connolly , James P. Moran Jr. , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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What Might Have Been

Here's one headache Virginia Democrats must be relieved they do not have to face. A top national Democratic financier has been charged with lying about his assets to get a $74 million loan from Citibank and leading Democrats have been racing to return his donations. Hassan Nemazee, son of an Iranian shipping tycoon and CEO of Nemazee Capital, served as co-chair of fundraising efforts for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year. And who was Clinton's campaign chairman? Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 27, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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First Click - Virginia

Good morning, folks! The gubernatorial candidates are quiet today, but their campaigns and supporting casts -- not so much. Two weeks before Labor Day, the ad wars have officially begun. Here's one from Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, and here's news from the Republican Governors Association. Deeds has one appearance tonight: a visit with supporters in Staunton at the Mill Street Grill restaurant. Republican Robert F. McDonnell has no public gigs today. McDonnell picked up another endorsement yesterday, this one from the Virginia chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. And the Associated Press's Bob Lewis reports that McDonnell has pledged to take a pay cut if elected governor. Sen. Jim Webb visited Norfolk yesterday for a private talk with business leaders and a visit to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, but he's yet to venture out to talk to voters about health care reform. And Rep. Tom Perriello (D) said...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 27, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , First Click  
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Deeds Ad: "Grass Stains"

How can we tell it's almost Labor Day? The campaigns are putting out new ads left and right. Here's the latest radio spot from Creigh Deeds, featuring the two most politically attuned people ever to attend a junior high school football practice. On the sidelines of football field, a man and woman talk about the campaign and Republican Bob McDonnell's comments praising George Bush economic policy. "What I can't figure is why this Bob McDonnell wants to do it JUST LIKE Bush," the guy says. Together, the conclude that Deeds is "that underdog guy" and "a little more Mark Warner, a lot less George Bush." And current Gov. Tim Kaine? Once again for a Deeds ad, he doesn't come up on the sidelines. Listen to the ad here....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 26, 2009; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Virginia Notebook: Regional Differences Challenge Candidates

Do Northern Virginians look at the world differently from residents of the rest of the state? It's been a sensitive question in the commonwealth's recent electoral history, one that has gone hand in hand with an occasional suggestion that those who live north of the Rappahannock River don't hold the same views as those in "real Virginia." When The Washington Post last week published an article featuring the voices of Northern Virginians who had taken part in a recent Post poll, respondents said gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds's rural roots made them anxious about whether he could understand their lives. Some readers said that the story reinforced stereotypes about differences between Washington area suburbanites and Virginians who live in other parts of the state. But drill down further into the survey's results, and this much becomes clear: There are real distinctions between how voters in the northern counties view issues...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 26, 2009; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Another Day, Another Endorsement

Republican Bob McDonnell received yet another endorsement from yet another business group today. Yes, McDonnell is surpassing rival Democrat Creigh Deeds in endorsements, but the question is, will they translate to actual votes in November? The National Federation of Independent Business, which calls itself Virginia's leading small-business association, endorsed McDonnell and Bill Bolling for lieutenant governor this afternoon. (What happened to the attorney general's race?)...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 26, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Updated: RGA Launches Attack Ads

Bob McDonnell goes negative. Sort of. The Republican Governors Association is doing it for him. The RGA's political action committee, Virginia Common Sense, launched TV and radio ads across the state (except pricey Northern Virginia) that criticize Democrat Creigh Deeds for supposedly supporting big government spending. The ads feature footage from remarks Deeds made to a crowd in Lexington April 4 when he said: "In Richmond we don't have earmarks, we have budget amendments. And I had the most budget amendments in 2008 of all."...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 26, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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On The Record

Recently, we introduced you to On The Record , a regular feature here on the Virginia Politics blog -- a funny, outrageous or otherwise memorable quote from someone in the state's political world. Have a quote you want to share? E-mail me at kumaranita@washpost.com. Now on to our latest installment: "It used to be that the Republican plan was that you'd run in Northern Virginia and hope you didn't lose too badly. Now you have to run and you have to run strong up here or you will lose. It's why we've lost all these races in the past," Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax) said. "For the Democrat, you need to win big. For the Republican, you have to hang in there and do respectfully and not get blown out. It's a critical battleground," Sen. J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (D-Fairfax) said. The pair of Fairfax legislators were speaking to my colleague...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 26, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Ad Watch: "This Election"

As the ads begin running in the governor's race, we'll be analyzing the commercials, picking apart claims made by the campaigns and analyzing messages they are intending to send. First up, Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds, whose first ad of the general election campaign began airing Friday....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 26, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Where's Dick Cranwell?

The usually outspoken chairman of the state Democratic party has remained uncharacteristically silent during the escalating scandal over his former House colleague Phil Hamilton. One by one, Gov. Tim Kaine, all six statewide candidates, the chairman of the state GOP and, of course, the House speaker have voiced an opinion on what should be done in Hamilton's case. But not Cranwell. Reporters have been asking for his response for days, but have received nothing from him or his staff -- though they issue multiple attacks against Bob McDonnell each day. All three statewide Democratic candidates - Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon - have called for Hamilton's resignation so it's unlikely Cranwell would stray from that message. But maybe, just maybe, Cranwell doesn't agree with his fellow Democrats and that's why he's silent?...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 26, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Robert F. McDonnell  
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First Click - Virginia

Greetings, fellow travelers! So have you heard the news about Phil Hamilton? Kidding. It is the dog days of summer, after all, so unfortunately for Hamilton and the GOP, this story is not going away if the Democrats can help it. Virtually every major newspaper and television station in the state has covered, over the past 24 hours, Hamilton's ethics controversy, the growing chorus of Republicans and Democrats calling for his resignation, his refusal to comply, and the secret ethics investigation that is about to start. Here's an interesting look at Speaker William J. Howell's decision to ask for the probe. One question I've not seen answered: Even if Hamilton wins, does he keep his leadership post on the House Appropriations Committee? And if not, what value is he then to the voters of Newport News? But enough about that. In gubernatorial news, Republican Robert F. McDonnell takes a break...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 26, 2009; 7:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , First Click  
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National GOP Group Gives Pro-McDonnell PAC $2.5 Million

We told you yesterday that a Republican PAC, Virginia Common Sense, was starting to air TV ads for Bob McDonnell this week. Now we know how it's paying for the ads: The Republican Governors Association has just reported giving $2.5-million to Virginia Common Sense, the RGA's political action committee, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign money in the state. McDonnell and the RGA were critical of the Democratic Governors Associaton's PAC, Common Sense Virginia, which spent nearly $3 million on ads opposing McDonnell during the Democratic primary. McDonnell's spokesman said at the time that those Democratic ads were funded by "out of state special interests who have no real interest in the future of Virginia's workers." So what's the difference?...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 25, 2009; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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More Fallout Over Phil Hamilton

Enough said....

By Amy Gardner  |  August 25, 2009; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Kaine: I'm an Asset to Deeds

"Are you an asset or a liability for Creigh Deeds?" That's the question Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine was asked today on his monthly call-in show on WTOP. As we reported Sunday, much has been made in recent days about U.S. Sen. Mark Warner -- not Kaine -- appearing in Deeds' first TV ad. And privately, some Deeds staffers have said they realize it's not always politically beneficial for Deeds to be associated with Kaine because of his sagging approval ratings and tie to national politics. But Kaine said today that he is "working my tail off for Creigh as an individual, as a governor and also as DNC chair." "I'm around the country raisiing funds for him. I'm doing events for him,'' Kaine said. "I think it's great to have an ad with Mark in it...I've done radio ads for Creigh that are up and running...I'm sure he's going to...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 25, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , James Webb , Mark Warner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell's New TV Ad on "Green Jobs"

Republican Bob McDonnell will continue with his mantra of "jobs governor" with his new TV ad that will air in every market in the state except for pricey Northern Virginia starting tomorrow. In the ad, McDonnell speaks about "green jobs" and new sources of energy -- a topic that should be familiar to all of us since he, Creigh Deeds and the former Democratic candidates have been talking about it since the race began....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 25, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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House Call: The Republican Rainbow Ticket

Hello, legislative junkies! Yes, the big story in House races this week remains Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, the Newport News Republican fighting for his life amid a bipartisan chorus of calls for his resignation. But by now, the back-room banter among both Republicans and Democrats is that Hamilton is sunk -- and that even if he steps down and the Rs can find a candidate to step in, they'd be hard-pressed to hang on against Democrat Robin Abbott in the ever-bluer 93rd District. And so, like the Republican Party, I'm moving on -- to an entirely different topic: this year's Rainbow Coalition. Let me explain with a question: Which major party is mounting the most diverse ticket of legislative challengers that anyone can remember? And, in two-thirds of those races, which party is facing a slate of incumbents who could be described with perfect accuracy as bunch of middle-aged white...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 25, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Deeds Brings Out Big Gun

Poll numbers show that President Obama's approval numbers are slipping. But conventional wisdom suggests the Democratic base, where Obama remains wildly popular, is lethargic and not yet jazzed about Virginia's fall election. What's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds to do? We got part of the answer when Obama came to Virginia to campaign with Deeds earlier this month, appearing in Northern Virginia, where the president's word could do wonders for Deeds with Democratic leaning voters. Today we get another piece of the answer, as Deeds releases his first radio ad featuring the president's voice. The ad will air on African-American radio stations in Richmond, Roanoke and Hampton Roads and includes clips of Obama's speech at the Tysons event, where the president praised Deeds as a family man cut from the same cloth as Govs. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Listen to the ad here....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 25, 2009; 8:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click - Virginia

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 Good morning, politicos! Here's what's happening today. In the gubernatorial universe (is there any other??), Republican Bob McDonnell continues his RV tour of Virginia with stops in Botetourt County, Woodstock, Weyers Cave and Harrisonburg. Democrat Creigh Deeds ... well, if I knew what Democrat Creigh Deeds were doing today, I'd tell you. No word yet from the campaign on his public schedule, other than that he'll be in Northern Virginia at least part of the day. On Monday, in an appearance in Charlottesville, Deeds highlighted his plans to help small businesses. McDonnell, meanwhile, will join Deeds Wednesday on the airwaves. The Republican Governors Association is also launching a TV ad campaign, and national HuckPAC volunteers are pitching in for McDonnell as well. The big news of the day remains the fate of Newport News Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, the beleaguered ranking Republican on the House Appropriations...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 25, 2009; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , First Click , General Assembly 2009  
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Updated: GOP Leaders Ask Hamilton to Resign; He Refuses

We expected Democrats to call for GOP Del. Phillip A. Hamilton to resign in response to emails showing he sought a job at Old Dominion University while securing state money for the school. But now Republicans leaders are calling for his resignation too. In extremely strong statements, gubernatorial hopeful Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP, all said tonight that Hamilton should resign. "From what I have seen of published news accounts containing emails and admissions, it appears that Delegate Hamilton has violated the public trust,'' McDonnell said. "Based on this public information it would be in the best interests of his constituents for him to step down." McDonnell and Mullins called for the resignation, but acknowedge that Hamilton has the right to defend himself in any investigations first if he chooses to do so. Updated: Hamilton said in a statement late tonight...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 24, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell, GOP Hit the Airwaves

Get ready to see more political ads -- a lot more. Democrat Creigh Deeds went on the air with his first TV ad of the general election a few days ago. Now, Republican Bob McDonnell has decided to go up on TV too. McDonnell will begin airing ads Wednesday, and the the Republican Governors Association's PAC Virginia Common Sense is expected to start ads on his behalf Thursday. (You'll recall that the RGA formed the group only after criticizing the Democratic Governors Association for creating its own PAC called Common Sense Virginia. Don't you just love politics?) No word on yet on what the ads will say, but with McDonnell leading in the polls you can expect his to be positive. The RGA's ad, on the other hand, will most likely be negative. McDonnell aired a slew of TV ads in May before the general election began, and then another...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 24, 2009; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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National HuckPAC Volunteers are Helping McDonnell

HuckPAC, the political action committee founded by former Arkansas governor, presidential hopeful and Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee, has taken an early and intense interest in Bob McDonnell's run for governor. Huckabee himself has campaigned for McDonnell in Virginia. In the latest show of support, volunteers from across the country made nearly 11,000 phone calls to Virginia voters on Saturday as part of a phone-banking effort organized by the group, talking up the Republican candidate's pro-life record, his support of gun rights and his efforts to create jobs and spur the economy. "One of the things we learned during our campaign is that we're not going to be able to do much by way of money," said Sarah Huckabee, executive director of the organization and daughter of the former governor. "But one of ... our strengths is our grass roots, our ability to get ordinary people to make extraordinary sacrifices...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  August 24, 2009; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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House Democrats Join the Hamilton Fray

House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong of Henry County has weighed in on the flap over Republican Del. Phillip A. Hamilton of Newport News, who is under fire for asking for a job at Old Dominion University while also securing for the school a $500,000 annual state appropriation. Armstrong criticized Republican House leaders for referring the matter to a legislative ethics panel, which he said typically meets behind closed doors, instead of sending it to the House Privileges and Elections Committee, which is open. "Unfortunately, a lack of transparency is what led to this situation in the first place. Delegate Hamilton is a public official, and any investigation into his actions should be conducted in full view of the citizens of Virginia," Armstrong said. "We cannot risk losing the public's trust in our institution by continuing to cloak this incident in secrecy." Still no word from Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F....

By Amy Gardner  |  August 24, 2009; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Deeds Highlights Small Business Initiatives

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds on Monday held a small business event in Charlottesville, where he picked up a theme from his Friday address at George Mason University: He would give every business that creates a job a tax credit. "Create a job, get a tax credit," runs a new stump speech line he introduced Friday and repeated Monday. Expect to hear it many times again between now and November. Under Deeds' proposal, any business that creates a new job will get a state tax credit equivalent to the increase in federal payroll taxes paid by the business on the new employee. McDonnell, meanwhile, has proposed a $1,000 per employee tax credit for any business that creates 50 new jobs anywhere in the state or 25 new jobs in economically depressed areas. Other ideas for small businesses highlighted by Deeds include expanding state contracting with minority and women-owned small businesses,...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 24, 2009; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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House GOP Sends Hamilton to the Ethics Police

GOP House speaker William J. Howell and other top House Republicans decided Monday to ask the House Ethics Advisory Panel to look into the actions of Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, the Newport News Republican who is under fire for securing state funding for Old Dominion University while also seeking a job there. Following statements from top Democratic statewide candidates calling for Hamilton's resignation, Howell (Stafford) issued a statement Monday sending the matter to the independent panel "to protect the integrity of the House." Howell said he has not asked Hamilton to resign, and Hamilton said he has no plans to. "The seriousness with which I view this matter dictates determining the facts and finding out if any impropriety occurred," Howell said. Although the panel has 120 days to review the matter, Howell said he asked that the review occur as quickly as possible. He added: "It is important to me...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 24, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Democrats Issue Call for Hamilton's Resignation

All three Democrats running for statewide office have now called for powerful Newport News Republican Del. Phillip A. Hamilton to resign, in response to emails showing Hamilton sought at job at Old Dominion University while securing state money for the school to open a teaching center. Attorney General candidate Steve Shannon was the first to call for Hamilton's resignation Sunday. Now gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds and lieutenant governor candidate Creigh Deeds have hopped aboard too. Democrats are clearly hoping the scandal will have legs. They hope it will tar Republicans with the whiff of possible corruption while also providing a helpful reminder to remind voters, who have been showing anxiety about elected officials of late, that Richmond in leadership is shared between the parties....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 24, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Kaine Hosts Southern Govs

Gov. Tim Kaine is hosting the nation's southern governors in Williamsburg. The topic? Climate change, energy and the environment. Kaine, the ougoing chairman of the Southern Governors Association, will wrap up the group's conference today after a weekend of panel discussions, a dinner at the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg and a formal Virginia State Dinner. Former Sen. John Warner participated in a discussion about global warming threat to world peace. Eleven governors are attending the event at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa, though some of the best-known governors skipped the event altogether including Charlie Crist of Florida (he's running for U.S. Senate), Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (he's running for president?) and Mark Sanford of South Carolina (we don't really need to say why, do we?)....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 24, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McAuliffe Heads to Harvard

First, Terry McAuliffe took his family on vacation to Turkey. Then, he headed to Las Vegas for pal Bill Clinton's birthday bash. Now we hear that McAuliffe, who lost to Creigh Deeds in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in June, is joining Harvard University's Institute of Politics as a visiting fellow this fall. Other fellows include former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (who lost to former comedian Al Franken), former Obama campaign advisor Stephanie Cutter and columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. McAuliffe will head to Boston in October where he will participate in classes, meet with student groups and lead discussions on his experiences. We're betting McAuliffe has a few stories to tell....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 24, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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First Click - Virginia

Monday, Aug. 24, 2009 Greetings Earthlings, and Happy Monday! Here's what's happening in the ever-exciting world of Virginia politics today. Gubernatorial hopefuls R. Creigh Deeds and Robert F. McDonnell continue their breakneck, pre-Labor Day campaign pace this week. McDonnell will hammer home his message that it's all about jobs with his ongoing RV tour of Deeds Country, I mean rural Virginia. And Deeds, on the air in his first TV ad campaign of the season, will seek to turn the momentum around in a race where he is trailing in polls and where his fortunes seem tied to a souring national mood for Democrats. Deeds remains in his home turf of Charlottesville today for a visit to a small business selling only made-in-Virginia products, where he will tout his plan to boost, you guessed it, small businesses. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Deeds travels on to Northern Virginia for events still...

By Amy Gardner  |  August 24, 2009; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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Fact Check: Did Deeds Go Back on Promise to Stay Away From Abortion?

Virginia's two most recent Democratic governors made sure to shy away from the abortion debate during their respective campaigns, a plan that worked well politically in the state's more conservative strongholds. At first, it appeared that state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds would follow suit. So when Deeds (D-Bath) began a new effort this month to attack his Republican gubernatorial opponent's stance on abortion, it was a noteworthy change for a politician who in recent weeks decried the "politics of division." Robert F. McDonnell, a former Virginia attorney general, has said he is against abortion in almost every instance, including rape and incest, except when the mother's life is in danger. "I think it's an area that shows a clear distinction between us," Deeds said in an interview earlier this month with The Post's Rosalind S. Helderman and Sandhya Somashekhar. "I'm a moderate guy, and I've been a consensus-builder my entire...

By Derek Kravitz  |  August 23, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Governor's Race Fact Checker  
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