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First Click -- Virginia

Amy Gardner

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009

Good morning, Virginians! Here's what's happening in the political universe today.

Republican Robert F. McDonnell and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds campaigned in the same room at different times twice on Tuesday, first before a group of IT workers in Williamsburg and later at Virginia Union University in Richmond. In Williamsburg, McDonnell levied tough criticism at the beleaguered Virginia Information Technologies Agency, and in Richmond, both candidates pointedly courted the black voters in the room.

Deeds published an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post titled "My Transportation Plan," in which he states perhaps in his most direct manner yet his willingness to raise taxes to pay for road improvements across Virginia. ("I'll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes.")

It's the day of columns, apparently; Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling penned a piece for Bob Holsworth's blog Virginia Tomorrow; in it, Bolling promoted the "McDonnell/Bolling Education Funding Plan," which promises to secure a half-billion dollars for K-12 teachers and students without raising taxes.

It's probably not a plan that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner and former state senator John H. Chichester think very highly of. Both men spoke to reporters by telephone Tuesday to criticize McDonnell's opposition to the 2004 tax increases, which they said were essential to protect K-12, higher ed and a host of other core state services.

Republicans, meanwhile, continued to hammer Deeds on the taxes issue. Expect more of that.

And the Doug Wilder Watch continues, with news expected today or Thursday from the former governor regarding an endorsement in the governor's race. Wilder met with Deeds on Tuesday, and subsequently took a phone call from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. Finally, Wilder reported, Deeds actually asked for Wilder's support.

By Amy Gardner  |  September 23, 2009; 6:44 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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Next: UPDATED: Fairfax Chamber Endorses McDonnell

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