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Virginia Politics Blog: October 4, 2009 - October 10, 2009

The Kitchen Table: Americans for Prosperity

Today, we told you about how Republicans are more energized about the governor's race this year than Democrats, in part because of disillusionment with Democratic leadership in Washington. Well, "disillusioned" is an understatement for the deep concern felt by many of the folks who attended the "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Crystal City last Saturday, sponsored by the conservative Americans for Prosperity. The controversial group has played a prominent role at the some of the tense "Tea Party" and health care reform protests around the country, and has been among those loudly asserting that current events in Washington are leading the nation on a path to socialism. AFP receives most of its funding from a foundation run by two brothers who control an oil-and-gas conglomerate in Kansas. A frequent target of liberal critics, AFP leaders insist that their efforts aren't mere industry-funded "astroturfing," saying that their bus tours around...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 10, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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McDonnell Airs New Ad on Jobs

Republican Bob McDonnell launched a new TV ad in Southwest Virginia today that talks about his desire to be a "jobs governor." It's the second ad in a week that accuses Democrat Creigh Deeds of costing families $7,800 -- a number that includes the estimated costs of a gas tax increase and the federal cap and trade bill. The ad assumes Deeds would support a gas increase, which he has voted for many times in the past, to raise the $1 billion that he says is needed for road and transit improvements, and that he favors a climate proposal with a greater emissions cap than the one being considered by Congress. But Deeds has never said what, if any, gax tax increase he would support as governor and has specifically said he does not support the cap and trade bill. Read the script below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 10, 2009; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Palin: McDonnell Personally Asked for Help

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell repeatedly and personally asked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for help this summer in his campaign for Virginia governor, a Palin spokeswoman said. But by late August, Palin learned that the McDonnell campaign no longer wanted her assistance, Palin adviser Meg Stapleton said in an interview tonight. Earlier this week, McDonnell reacted with a bit of sarcasm when asked whether Palin would be campaigning with him. "There was a time earlier on when she was governor when I thought she would come here,'' he said. "But I think she seems to be busy with books and other things like that. We've still got about 20 different events scheduled down the road and she's not one of them." But Stapleton says Palin is not too busy to come. She says that her boss offered to help McDonnell numerous times both in conversations with him and his...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 9, 2009; 8:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin  
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Palin a No-Show in Virginia

After the election last year, Republican Bob McDonnell expected former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to campaign with him. In the summer, even after Palin's stunning announcement that she was resigning as governor of Alaska, McDonnell said he would welcome her to Virginia. This week, McDonnell made it clear that would not happen. "There was a time earlier on when she was governor when I thought she would come here,'' McDonnell said after a candidates' forum in Loudoun County earlier this week. "But I think she seems to be busy with books and other things like that. We've still got about 20 different events scheduled down the road and she's not one of them." But Palin adviser Meg Stapleton told Politico that her boss offered to help McDonnell. Calls and e-mails to Palin's political action committee were not returned. Her PAC donated $2,500 to McDonnell this summer. Palin's visits to...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 9, 2009; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin  
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Conservative Group Targets Deeds

A political action committee tied to the conservative Family Research Council began airing TV ads accusing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds of flip-flopping on the issues of same-sex marriage and partial-birth abortion. The Virginia Values Voter PAC ad is airing for one week on cable TV in Southwest Virginia. "Creigh Deeds is willing to do anything to appease the most radical special interest groups within his party,'' PAC president Connie Mackey said. "His rhetoric doesn't match his votes. It appears he will do and say anything for votes except stick by his own." Deeds voted for a ban on partial-birth abortion but later changed his mind because he said he worried that the bills were unconstitutional. He, voted to put on the ballot a state constitutional amendment prohibiting civil unions and same-sex marriage, but said he came to regret his decision and to believe that the language was discriminatory and...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 9, 2009; 5:07 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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McDonnell "Delighted" Obama Won Nobel

Don't include Virginia gubernatorial candidate Republican Bob McDonnell among those conservatives who are deriding the Nobel Committee for awarding its Peace Prize to President Obama less than a year after he took office. "I'm delighted to see the President of the United States bring honor to our country by receiving the Nobel Peace Prize," McDonnell said this afternoon. His Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds issued a statement early this morning praising the committee for its selection. McDonnell said that he's been on the road and has not extensively read the committee's reasoning for the award, other than that it had to do with Obama's diplomatic efforts. But he said he was pleased with anything that "brings accolades to the United States." And then he repeated, "I'm delighted to see him win the award." McDonnell's answer stands in stark contrast to others in in his party, including Republican National Committee Chairman Michael...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 9, 2009; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Two Lt. Gov. Candidates, Same Endorsement

On Wednesday morning, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling issued a press release proudly announcing an endorsement from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce political action committee. On Thursday afternoon, his Democrat rival Jody Wagner also issued a press release proudly announcing her endorsement from the very same PAC. Did one of the candidates make a mistake? Or did the group change its mind? Actually, it's neither. It turns out the chamber endorsed both candidates for lieutenant governor. Do they know that's not how it works? And that if you endorse both candidates, it's not really .... well, an endorsement. "I understand,'' said Ira Agricola, chamber senior vice president. "It would not be my personal preference." The PAC's 12-member board voted to endorse both candidates for the first time in its history -- clearly split between the incumbent who has campaigned on business issues and the challenger who hails from the...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 9, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Deeds on Obama: 'Yes, He Will.'

Will President Obama be back in Virginia before the Nov. 3 election? The Deeds campaign has spent days saying that they would love to see the president and believe he and the Democratic National Committee will be helpful in the final weeks of the governor's race. But everyone's been careful not to say that Obama will definitely be back, with no date yet offered by the White House. Until this morning. Asked by Mark Plotkin on WTOP if President Obama will campaign for him, Deeds responded, "Yes, he will." Plotkin then asked where Obama will appear and Deeds answered, "I don't know that yet. I know he will be back in Virginia before Nov. 3."...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 9, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Sagging in Northern Virginia, Deeds Introduces New Rural Ads

New poll results suggest that Democrat Creigh Deeds do more to sell himself to Northern Virginians, including the traditionally left-leaning inner Washington suburbs, and that voters believe his campaign has become largely negative. Today we get positive ads from Deeds ... aimed at convincing rural Virginians that he's fighting for them to get their "fair share" from Richmond. And that Deeds will fight for "small towns." And that he understands "your part of the state." And that he's "From Here. For Here." There's a new "Hope and Opportunity" tour in the Shenandoah Valley and Southside. This is all going to give the political pundits something to chew on. His campaign did make a nod at healing tensions with the White House and energizing Obama Democrats with a statement praising the Nobel Committee for awarding their Peace Prize to the president. "I join the Nobel Committee in standing by President Obama...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 9, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click -- Virginia

Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 Good morning and happy Friday everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today. Big news. The Washington Post released a new poll showing that Republican Bob McDonnell has widened his lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds. The entire GOP ticket is up by a hefty nine points. The poll shows a lack of enthusiasm among many voters who elected President Obama last year and raises questions for the Democrats as they head into the 2010 mid-term elections. Democrats continue to wonder what Deeds's message will be and what the White House's role will be in the remaining weeks of the campaign. Deeds will be a guest on Mark Plotkin's radio show on WTOP at 10 a.m. Listen here. Tonight, he'll join fans at the Riverbend High football game in Fredericksburg. McDonnell will attend the Patrick County Rally with former U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode in Stuart...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 9, 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 , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Jody Wagner , Joe Biden , Ken Cuccinelli , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Biden: Virginia Governor's Race "Winnable" for Deeds

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a fundraiser for R. Creigh Deeds today and simply gushed about the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, whose possibly strained relationship with the White House has been the talk of Virginia politicos of late. He said Deeds could yet win his race against Robert F. McDonnell (R) despite the gloomy poll numbers. "I hope to God you understand this race is winnable," Biden said toward the end of his remarks. "I was told another good friend of mine running for governor in another state, they declared him dead two weeks ago. He is now ahead. We are going to win that race." He was referring to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), who is in a tight race with Republican Chris Christie. Speaking to a group of about 70 Deeds contributors at the elegant, riverside home of a Fairfax County backer, Biden -- who met Deeds...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 8, 2009; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Joe Biden , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Fairfax Gets Enough Signatures for Dulles Rail Tax

Fairfax County has scrapped together enough signatures of landowners to create a special tax district, the "missing piece" in the public-funding plan for 23 miles of Metro stations from Reston to Dulles International Airport and beyond, officials said Thursday. An announcement is scheduled for Friday. "I'm delighted. This brings us another step closer to having stations in the Herndon-Reston area as part of rail to Dulles," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D). The Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles, a nonprofit group made up of Fairfax landowners, has worked to collect a 51 percent majority of affected landowners to create the tax district, which would pay for about $330 million in capital funding for the project. To implement the district, the group needs support from either a majority of the affected landowners or from owners controlling a majority of the land in the area. The petition...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 8, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly , Transportation  
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Post Poll: McDonnell's Lead Widens; Deeds Slips in NoVA

Republican Robert F. McDonnell has taken a commanding lead over R. Creigh Deeds in the race for governor of Virginia, as momentum the Democrat had built with an attack on his opponent's conservative social views has dissipated, according to a new Washington Post poll. McDonnell leads 53 to 44 percent among likely voters, expanding on the four-point lead he held in mid-September. Deeds's advantage with female voters has all but disappeared and McDonnell has grown his already wide margin among independents. Deeds, a state senator from western Virginia, is widely seen by voters as running a negative campaign, a finding that might indicate his aggressive efforts to exploit McDonnell's 20-year-old graduate thesis are turning voters away. Read the full story and see the raw data....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 8, 2009; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell: White House's Support for Deeds Not Deciding Factor

Speaking at an event in Herndon to announce a new plan directed at Virginia retirees, Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell said that while a visit from the president or vice president could lend some "prestige" to his Democratic opponent, it would not be a deciding factor in the race. "What wins this election is not who endorses who, it will be about who has the vision to lead Virginia," he said when asked by a reporter about the White House's support of Deeds' campaign. ""That's what this election is all about." White House support for Deeds has become an issue among Democrats following recent news reports that Obama is distancing himself from Deeds. McDonnell spoke this afternoon at the Herndon Senior Center, visiting with members of the Silver-Light Asian Senior Association to announce a plan to create a discount card program for seniors, toughen penalties for crimes committed against...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 8, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Derek Kravitz , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine Can't Confirm Obama Visit to Help Deeds Campaign

Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said today that President Obama's support is crucial for Democrat Creigh Deeds to win the Virginia governor's race, but said he could not confirm that Obama would return to the state to campaign. "The way to win is to energize the huge upsurge of Obama '08 voters,'' Kaine said. "We registered an awful lot of people and we got a lot of them to turn out...We've got to have folks that care passionately about the president and care passionately about Creigh." So is the president coming? "I can't say one way or another,'' he said. But Kaine denies recent news reports that Obama and the White House are distancing themselves from Deeds. "Obviously the White House is very focused on this,'' Kaine said. "What we are doing at the DNC, ramping up our involvement is definitely in consultation with the White...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Deeds Airs Transportation Ad

It doesn't appear that Democrat Creigh Deeds is taking the advice of some of his party's elected officials to stop going negative. Deeds today released a new statewide TV ad, entitled Dishonest, that, well, is negative. It outlines what some newspapers are saying about Republican Bob McDonnell's transportation plan -- calling it "dishonest" and "dead on arrival." "This ad proves two points,'' said Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman. "First, Creigh Deeds and The Washington Post editorial board both agree on hitting Virginians with a massive tax hike in the middle of a recession. Second, Terry McAuliffe still knows his politics. He presciently noted yesterday "Creigh pretty much doesn't have to say anything because the Washington Post is out there every day doing it." Read the script below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Coming Soon: New Washington Post Poll

This week, The Washington Post had a survey taken of 1,001 likely voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We'll have the data and analysis up later this afternoon. For reference, here's what our previous two polls during this elections season showed. Deeds Shows Big Gains In Va. Poll | Data (Sept. 20) McDonnell Ahead In Governor's Race | Data (Aug. 16)...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 8, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Polls  
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NRA Airs Ad for McDonnell Featuring Bloomberg

The National Rifle Association is airing TV ads on behalf of Republican Bob McDonnell targeting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- and the mob, too. In the ad, a mobster explains to Virginia voters that it would be in their best interest not to vote for McDonnell if they "know what's good" for them. "When Mayor Bloomberg got down here, your guy, Bob McDonnell, kicked him out of Virginia, and it was very disrespectful," the man says. "When you vote, I strongly suggest you forget about your freedoms and your Mr. Second Amendment Bob McDonnell." "I haven't seen the ad; heard about it. I'll leave Virginia politics to Virginians and worry about the politics here," Bloomberg told the New York Times....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine Goes Hollywood

Gov. and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine will lead a diverse of group of Hollywood stars in helping to pick a 30-second commercial that will air nationally promoting healthcare reform. Judges include musician Will.I.Am, actors John Cho, Dulé Hill and Brandon Routh, actresses Rosario Dawson, Kate Walsh and Olivia Wilde and 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane. Organizing for America sent an email to members soliciting videos ads that would explain the need for healthcare reform. Submissions will be accepted until Oct. 18. A winner will be announced in next month. The state GOP, which has been critical of Kaine's role as party leader, immediately seized on the issue as an example of the governor paying more attention to national politics, than Virginia. "You really can't make this stuff up," said Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "You've heard people say, 'Oh, that story is so crazy, it's not...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Volunteer Effort Revs Up

That call you got last night just as you were settling down to dinner? There's a good chance it came from a volunteer for one of your hardworking candidates, rallying support with less than a month to go before Election Day. We know, because we watched some of these dedicated volunteers make those very calls when we dropped by unannounced at a couple of campaign offices yesterday evening. The first stop was around 5:30 at the Fairfax County GOP headquarters, a homey office suite off Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax abuzz with staffers and volunteers, among them about a dozen high school students making phone calls for community service credit. About an hour later we showed up at the Democrats' coordinated campaign headquarters, which took up the entire fourth floor of a mid-rise office building in McLean....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 8, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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First Click -- Virginia

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009 Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today. Vice President Joe Biden returns to Virginia for a second time to help Democrat Creigh Deeds raise some cash at a mid-day event in Alexandria. It's a busy fundraising day for Deeds. Tonight, he appears with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at the Potomac home of lobbyist Barbara Goldberg Goldman. Republican Bob McDonnell will discuss plans to aid senior citizens at the Herndon Senior Center. Yes, McDonnell is still rolling out policy proposals less than four weeks before the big day. Questions continue to arise about Deeds's negative message and whether he can make his case to voters in the last month of the race -- with or without help from President Obama. The Wall Street Journal weighs into the Virginia governor's race for the second day in a row. This time, the paper reports...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Election 2010 , First Click , Jody Wagner , Joe Biden , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Cuccinelli and Shannon Go At It -- Again

It wasn't a James Brown concert but it sorta felt like one when supporters of state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, filed into tonight's candidate debate in Prince William County draped in yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Again proving that Cuccinelli-Shannon is the most dramatic down-ballot matchup of 2009, the two candidates were not shy about attacking one another on a range of issues. Cuccinelli criticized Shannon for not supporting a special session last summer to address a Supreme Court decision that could have caused thousands of drunk-driving cases to be thrown out. Shannon criticized Cuccinelli for not demanding the resignation of Republican Del. Phil Hamilton, the embattled Newport News Republican who is under investigation for accepting a part-time job from Old Dominion University while securing the school a $500,000 state appropriation. Cuccinelli criticized Shannon for having a "100 percent" pro-union voting record and...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 7, 2009; 9:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Steve Shannon  
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Excerpts: Post Reporters, Bob Holsworth on Gov. Race

Earlier today, Post reporters Anita Kumar and Rosalind Helderman -- who are assigned to the McDonnell and Deeds campaigns respectively -- and former VCU professor Bob Holsworth (now blogging at Virginia Tomorrow) answered readers questions about the Virginia governor's race. Some excerpts follow. Read the entire discussion here. And come back next Wednesday for another chat with Post reporters, who will be joined by fundraising watcher David Poole of the Virginia Public Access Project. Excerpts: Alexandria, Va.: I want to like Deeds but feel he is taking NoVA for granted because it generally skews highly democratic. Does he have any plans for flyers, ads, appearances in the area that would help him convey his stances on the issues or plans for Virginia? So far, he hasn't done that at all (at least as far as I have noticed). He really needs to step up his game and come out with...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 7, 2009; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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House Call: And in Virginia Beach ...

Hello politicos! And welcome to another installation of House Call. We haven't spent much time outside of Gotham this election season (that would be Northern Virginia), but today we're going to travel to the other urban powerhouse of Virginia electoral politics -- Hampton Roads. Two House races in particular are shaping up to be quite competitive this year. Both seats are in Virginia Beach, and both are currently held by first-term Democrats. One is R.W. "Bobby" Mathieson of the 21st District, a longtime Virginia Beach city police officer who unseated Republican John J. Welch III in 2007. Mathieson faces Virginia Beach City Council member Ron A. Villanueva. The other Democratic incumbent fighting for survival at the Beach is Joe F. Bouchard of the 83rd District, a former Naval commander who is in a rematch against Republican Chris P. Stolle, an obstetrician and brother of soon-to-retire state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle....

By Amy Gardner  |  October 7, 2009; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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GOPAC Helps McDonnell, Va GOP

GOPAC, a national organization dedicated to electing Republicans to state and local office, is donating $100,000 to gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and Virginia's House of Delegate candidates. More is expected to come. The group is assisting several Republican House candidates in Northern Virginia including Del. Dave Albo (42nd district), Jay McConville (44th), Barbara Comstock (34th), Rich Anderson (51st) and Jim LeMunyon (67th). "We are going to win because Bob McDonnell and Republicans running for the House of Delegates have better solutions to the issues that concern voters: low taxes, adequate transportation funding and patient-centered health care," Chairman Frank Donatelli said. In the spring, GOPAC launched its first ever multi-media campaign to support McDonnell that includes cable TV ads and run ads online using Google search engine advertising, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other media. It also trained House candidates on how to best communicate GOP positions on healthcare and taxes....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 7, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Boehner Lends McDonnell A Hand

We don't know yet how much Republican Bob McDonnell raised in September, but we are starting to get some hints. We told you that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal raised $250,000 for him, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised $100,000, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney raised $100,000 and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty raised $75,000. Now we learn that on the last day of the one-month reporting period, Sept. 30, U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner headlined a fundraiser at the Alexandria home of lobbyist Bruce Gates, which brought in about $120,000. For those of you who are doing the math, that's more than $600,000. We'll get his fundraising report on Oct. 15....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 7, 2009; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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National Democrats Step Up Effort for Deeds

National Democrats are stepping up efforts to demonstrate they remain fully supportive of Virginia candidate Creigh Deeds. A new email is going out today from President Obama's Organizing for America to 500,000 Virginia voters urging them to help Deeds and check out Republican Bob McDonnell's 1989 thesis. It ties Deeds directly to the president, opening: "As President Obama said, Creigh Deeds' pragmatic and bipartisan approach to politics "has an ability to bring people together, build consensus and deliver results." There are also new ads going up on Facebook today urging voters to look into the thesis. You can read the full OFA email after the jump....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 7, 2009; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Will Obama Be Back?

Will he or won't he? Will President Obama be campaigning in Virginia again for Democrat R. Creigh Deeds? It's the question of the moment as a story appears in this morning's Wall Street Journal citing a source who says the White House is backing off support for Deeds, and Gov. Brian Schweitzer, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, is quoted over the weekend suggesting that the Dems' chances in the New Jersey race are stronger than in Virginia. No event has yet been announced, and the Deeds campaign continues to say only that they hope one will occur and they are working closely with the White House. They also insist that all is well with the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association, as the three groups hold daily conference calls and coordinate closely. The DGA pumped $250,000 into the campaign last week, and Deeds senior adviser Mo Elleithee...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 7, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell Airs New TV Ad

Republican Bob McDonnell launched a new TV ad today that calculates the cost of a pair of proposals that Democrat Creigh Deeds has indicated he supports -- a gas tax increase and the federal cap and trade bill. The ad assume Deeds would support a gas increase, which has voted for many times in the past, to raise the $1 billion that he says is needed for road and transit improvements. In Virginia, the gas tax produces roughly $50 million per penny, and would take a 20-cent increase to produce $1 billion a year. McDonnell's ad uses information from the state Department of Taxation to determine that a 20-cent increase would cost a household with two cars an average of $300 a year. The ad assumes Deeds supports a climate proposal with a greater emissions cap than the one being considered by Congress. The cap and trade number comes a...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 7, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Get Your Questions Answered, and Debate the Transportation Plans

Today the Post brings you two opportunities to discuss the Virginia governor's race with our reporters and editors and your fellow readers. At noon today, Post reporters Anita Kumar and Rosalind Helderman, who are assigned to the two campaigns, will take your questions and comments on the race. They'll be joined by former VCU professor Bob Holsworth, who now runs his Virginia Tomorrow blog. Submit your questions, then watch the discussion from noon to 1 p.m. Those interested in digging deeper into Creigh Deeds's and Bob McDonnell's competing transportation plans can use our annotation tool to comment on and debate specific points in the candidates' proposals. Click here to see McDonnell's plan or click here for Deeds's....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 7, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Transportation  
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First Click -- Virginia

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today. Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds shared a stage twice yesterday. Well, sort of. First, they appeared at a candidate's forum sponsored by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. Later, they participated in interviews as part of a previously taped hour-long TV special where Deeds blamed Washington woes for his problems. Today, McDonnell will shake some hands at the Chesapeake Sheriff's Great American Food Fest while Deeds will discuss his higher ed plans with students and faculty at the University of Virginia. Sen. John McCain will hold a veterans rally for McDonnell this month, while the Wall Street Journal is just the latest newspaper to wonder if McCain's former opponent, President Obama is distancing himself from Deeds's campaign. The flap over billonaire BET co-founder Sheila Johnson's remarks about Deeds' speaking styleis not quite...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 7, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell Appears on CNBC

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob McDonnell had to be pleased with his performance on national TV tonight. In his seven-minute interview on the Kudlow and Company show on CNBC, McDonnell got to tout the federal issues he loves to talk about, received no questions about his 20-year-old thesis and gave his spin on how to fund transportation. And to top it off, host Larry Kudlow mispronounced Democrat Creigh Deeds's name (It's Cree) and the show flashed an unflattering photo of Deeds (His mouth was hanging open). Kudlow mentioned that McDonnell was up in the polls, and asked him if Republican wins in Virginia and New Jersey this year will help GOP candidates in 2010. "The answer is yes,'' he said. "If we are able to win and Chris (Christie) wins in New Jersey, I think people will look at this, in part, as a referendum of left-leaning policies the United States...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 6, 2009; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds v. McDonnell on Politico

Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell faced off -- well, sort of; they were taped separately in back-to-back interviews -- at a forum moderated by WJLA's Leon Harris and Politico's John Harris and broadcast live tonight. The two Harrises touched on all the usual subjects -- transportation, taxes, the thesis -- and the two candidates offered all the usual answers. But there were a few interesting moments. Deeds was shown a video from a similar forum in during the Democratic primary in which he said he was "itchin'" to debate McDonnell in the fall -- and then he was asked why he agreed only to a forum with consecutive instead of joint appearances. "I do not control the schedule at all," Deeds offered as a defense. Really? McDonnell, meanwhile, was asked not only to defend his 20-year-old thesis, but to explain the fact that he had a...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 6, 2009; 7:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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PAC for People with Disabilities Demands McDonnell Apology

A political action committee in Northern Virginia that advocates on behalf of people with disabilities is calling on gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell to apologize for remarks made by a top supporter that mocked state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds's manner of speaking. The controversy arose after Sheila Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of Black Entertainment Television who is backing McDonnell, mimicked Deeds's talking style during a Sept. 25 campaign event as she criticized his inability to communicate effectively. A video of her remarks has received a lot of play on the Web since its posting this week by liberal blogger Ben Tribbett. "Sheila Johnson enjoys the same freedom of speech that all Americans have, but we are appalled and saddened that she used a political speech and introduction of the Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell to laugh at people who have speech impediments," said Martha J. Toomey, a co-founder of...

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 6, 2009; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Fredrick Kunkle , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McCain to Hold Rally With McDonnell

Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee and former prisoner of war, will hold a veterans campaign rally with Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob McDonnell Oct. 17 in Hampton Roads. Lou Holtz, the former Notre Dame football coach turned TV commentator, will hold a meet-and-greet with McDonnell on Oct. 26 in Richmond. McDonnell has appeared with many prominent Republicans, but most events were closed-door fundraisers. These two events are being billed as open to the public....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 6, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell Responds to Johnson Flap

Leaving a forum this morning hosted by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, Republican Bob McDonnell was asked what responsibility he bears for Sheila Johnson's videotaped comments mocking Democrat Creigh Deeds's speaking style and whether he would apologize for it. McDonnell did not apologize. Instead, he said that he knew that Johnson had issued a statement "she believed was appropriate." He went on to try to explain what he thought Johnson was trying to express in her comments. "Listen," he told reporters. "Senator Deeds hasn't had any problem for the last two months viciously attacking me on any number of things that misrepresented my position. So I think he's a very good spokesman for his cause. ... The reason she's supporting me, that she said at the announcement speech, is that she believes I've got the best ideas on jobs, the economy and economic development." "What she was saying, is what...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 6, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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After the Unfortunate Remarks ...

Here's a fun fact on a Tuesday afternoon, 28 days until the big day -- Election Day, that is. Republicans have been reminding us with some frequency about the number of viewers who have taken a look at the video of Democrat Creigh Deeds's post-debate scrum with reporters in which he struggles to explain whether he would raise taxes and snaps at a female reporter. Well, check this out: The clip of Deeds's post-debate scrum with reporters from Sept. 18 now has 52,050 views (and that's with nearly three weeks worth of Web ads directing viewers to the video) But the video clip of Sheila Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and Bob McDonnell supporter who mocked Deeds's speaking style, now has 61,212 views after a mere 24 hours. And, in case you aren't one of these thousands of people, you can see both videos right here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 6, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Bolling Airs Wagner Attack Ad

Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling began a new statewide TV ad today -- and his first one attacking his Democratic opponent, Jody Wagner. What's the attack? Taxes, taxes, taxes. We saw that one coming. Bolling accuses Wagner, the former state treasurer and secretary of finance, of supporting "every major tax increase proposed over the last eight years." "During a time of record unemployment and significant economic decline, Virginians should be very concerned about Jody Wagner's consistent support of job-killing tax increases," said Matt Wells, Bolling campaign manager. "Bolling and his campaign once again proved they just do not understand the state's finances if their chosen line of attack is to degrade Jody Wagner's fiscal record -- a record that includes balanced budgets, the two largest investments in education in Virginia history, two 'Best Managed State' awards, eight 'Best State for Business' awards, and maintaining our AAA credit rating," said Elisabeth...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 6, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Campaign Ads , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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Live Blog: Loudoun Chamber Forum

Good morning. Greetings from Lansdowne, Va., and the National Conference Center in Loudoun County. We'll be live-blogging today's candidates forum, sponsored by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. Our Internet connection is a bit weak, so bear with us here. But the introductions are getting started and both candidates are in the room so we'll get going shortly. This is an area we know well. In 2005, we did a series of stories all about the voting precinct that includes the National Conference Center. It was a place where just about every residence had been built in the four years since the 2001 election. In '05, this precinct went for Democrat Tim Kaine. Kaine won Loudoun and won the election. Ever since, this has been a pretty Democratic-leaning area -- President Barack Obama won it last year. We'd note, however, on an organizational level, that Republican Bob McDonnell blanketed the area...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 6, 2009; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009 Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today. Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell will appear at a candidate's forum sponsored by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce this morning. (We will be live blogging so be sure to check back around 8:30 a.m. for a full report). Deeds will spend the rest of the day meeting residents at Leisure World, a private senior community in Leesburg, talking up higher education plans at Shenandoah University in Winchester and holding a rally at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. McDonnell will attend a veterans event in Arlington with his daughter, Jeanine, who served in Iraq. Tonight, Deeds and McDonnell will participate in interviews as part of a previously taped hour-long TV special. Tune in to ABC 7/WJLA-TV or Politico's Web site at 7 p.m. to watch. We're just four weeks from Election Day!...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 6, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell-Whitman Event Canceled

Democrats said today that Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and current Republican candidate for California governor, canceled a campaign event with Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell because she did not want to be tied to the views he expressed in his 20-year-old graduate thesis. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the event was canceled more than a week ago and would not be rescheduled because the two campaigns could not work out an alternate date. The McDonnell campaign provided confidential emails to The Wasington Post that made clear that the event was canceled 10 days ago due to a miscommunication. The fundraiser was set to take place Thursday at the Northern Virginia home of businessman John Backus, who has known Whitman since the 1980s. Backus said in an interview that the McDonnell campaign notified him last Monday that Whitman could not attend this Thursday. He said he initially wanted...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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NRA Airs Ads for McDonnell

Get ready for even more TV ads. The National Rifle Association is spending more than $500,000 on TV and radio ads for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign spending. We told you last week that McDonnell and his supporters were outspending Democrat Creigh Deeds and his backers nearly 2 to 1 on TV ads. The NRA ad buy is only going to add to McDonnell's advantage. Deeds's gun-friendly record earned him the NRA's endorsement in 2005 but cost him the support of former governor L. Douglas Wilder. This year the NRA switched to McDonnell, citing his record as attorney general and Deeds's "flip-flop" on the gun show loophole. The NRA refused to disclose any details on the radio or TV ads -- so let us know when you see or hear them!...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 5:27 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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Sheila Johnson Apologizes for Deeds Remark

We just received the following statement from Sheila Johnson, about the video clip of her appearing to mock Democrat Creigh Deeds's speaking style: "Two weeks ago I made reference to Creigh Deeds' inability to clearly communicate effective solutions to the serious problems facing Virginia. I shouldn't have done it in the manner in which I did and for that I apologize for any offense he, or others, may have taken," she said. Does that end this campaign kerfuffle? We'll see....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Does Creigh Deeds Have a Stutter?

As the National Stuttering Association releases a statement condemning comments made recently by McDonnell supporter Sheila Johnson, in which she mocked Democrat Creigh Deeds's speaking style, his consultants fielded question after question this afternoon about whether the Democrat, in fact, has a stutter. "It's something he's dealt with his whole life," said senior adviser Mo Elleithee in a call with reporters. "He's never sought any type of medical attention for it." So does he have a stutter? "He sometimes stumbles over his words. He's spoken that way his entire life. He's never sought medical attention for it. There are people out there who have much worse problems. Many of them stutter," Elleithee went on to say....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Moran Advises Deeds: Give People a Reason to Vote for You

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran says Democrat Creigh Deeds is very much in a position to win his campaign for governor, but says he counseled his party's nominee last night that he needs to push back against consultant advice to run negative ads, and run positive spots instead. Moran said Deeds is being supported by an anti-McDonnell vote but now must give voters a reason to vote for him instead of against the other guy. "We had a conversation last night," Moran said. "I said: 'All your consultants are going to tell you to go negative, just like they told my brother. And spend all your money on negative because positive ads don't move anything.' ... I said: 'You've got to go with your instinct. You're a genuine guy. People relate to you.' " "That's how Creigh won the primary and I think that's how he'll win the general, by showing...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , James P. Moran Jr. , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Sheila Johnson on Deeds's Speaking Style

This video clip of Sheila Johnson, a supporter of Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine now backing Republican Bob McDonnell for governor, has been making its way around the Internet, starting on Ben Tribbett's blog. In the clip, Johnson, who co-founded BET, talks about her feeling that Democrat Creigh Deeds has trouble articulating his views for Virginia and seems to mock his stammering speaking style. Deeds senior adviser Mo Elleithee called Johnson's imitation of the rural senator a "petty personal attack." Deeds himself said at a campaign stop today that he was "disappointed" in Johnson's comments. "I'm disappointed and I'll be honest. If it's about being smooth or being a slick communicator, I'm never going to win that discussion. But I work as hard as I can to be honest and forthright and tell people what I think and I'm going to continue to work toward creating opportunity and hope and prosperity...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Wagner Goes Up On Air

Jody Wagner, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, began airing her first TV ads of the general election today in Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke. The positive ad highlights Wagner's role as treasurer and secretary of finance for Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and touts her role in cutting billions of dollars to balance the budget during the worst national recession in decades. Her Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, has been on the air for several weeks. The script is below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Campaign Ads , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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Updated: GOP Blasts Kaine on Transportation Spending

Republicans continued to blame Gov. Tim Kaine -- and his would-be successor Creigh Deeds -- for being slow in spending the state's share of federal stimulus money for transportation. U.S. Frank Wolf and Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity, among others, criticized Kaine this morning on a conference call for not using the money for much-needed existing projects in congested Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. "We could use that money desperately,'' Wolf told reporters. "We're in a critical situation. The economic growth and the opportunities here depend on improving transportation. There are a lot of things up here that that money could be used for." Republicans have been talking nonstop about transportation stimulus money since Friday, when the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent Kaine a stern letter that said the state is the last in the nation to spend its money. "These projects have all been...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Frank R. Wolf , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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RGA Airs Ad About Deeds's 'Young Lady' Comment

Remember when Democrat Creigh Deeds made that sharp remark to a female reporter who asked him about his plan to pay for road improvements? "I think I made myself clear, young lady," Deeds said. The exchange, which was quickly posted on YouTube and sent out by the state Republican Party, has now made it into a TV ad paid for by the Republican Governors Association and airing in Northern Virginia. Watch it here: Some wondered whether Deeds might have hurt his attempts to appeal to women voters when he made that comment after the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate. Deeds later called to apologize to the reporter, Chelyen Davis of the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, who said she was not offended by the remark....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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Education Group Airs New Ad Against McDonnell

The Virginia Education Association has launched a new TV ad, accusing Republican Bob McDonnell of opposing smaller class sizes and teacher raises while supporting vouchers for private schools. The group, which has been airing ads for two weeks in Richmond and Hampton Roads, directs viewers to a Web site that compares McDonnell's and Democrat Creigh Deeds's education plans. (Check out The Post's take on their education plans)....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 5, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McAuliffe BBQ Nets $100,000 for House Dems

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is following through on a promise made in the spring to raise money for Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates, yesterday hosting a barbecue at his McLean home for House caucus chair Ken Plum's political action committee. It may not be the millions he was rumored to have pledged to candidates if he were the nominee -- though Del. Plum insists the two had never talked numbers -- but Plum said the event netted about $100,000 for his Invest in Virginia committee. That's a pretty sizable figure given that Plum, who had endorsed McAuliffe, says the fund likely will raise $400,000 to $500,000 total this campaign season. And Plum said most attendees at the event were friends of McAuliffe who might not have given to the PAC otherwise. "I never had an expectation he would necessarily do anything if he didn't get the...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 10:24 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

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 Good morning! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. One month and counting until Virginia voters go to the polls. Have you registered to vote yet? Today's the deadline! This may be a critical week in the campaign, as pretty much everyone who is going to vote is starting to pay real attention to the governor's race, even these highly sought late-deciders. Is the national Democratic party doubling-down on Sen. Creigh Deeds in attempt to close the gap with Republican Bob McDonnell? The DNC will give him $1 million more to spend on his effort. But meanwhile national Democrats begin to say quietly they think they may have better chance in New Jersey than Virginia. Those doing the talking, very diplomatically include Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, head of the Democratic Governors Association....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 7:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James P. Moran Jr. , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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'Fairfax's Own' Pays Homage

Bob McDonnell's visit to a Fairfax County GOP breakfast pep rally yesterday was a homecoming of sorts. The Burke Fire Department hall was surrounded with those familiar "Fairfax's Own" signs, and the more than 300 activists getting pumped over coffee and pancakes were more than happy to claim him as their own. But the visit also offered an acknowledgement of the role the county has played this year in reviving Republican hopes after a morale-crushing few years in the once-red state. McDonnell, who leads Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the polls, gave a particular shout-out to Fairfax supervisors Pat Herrity and John Cook, whose better-than-expected performances in a couple of elections (along with the success of Republican Frank Fannon and GOP-endorsed independent Alicia Hughes in Alexandria and a close House of Delegates special election in Arlington) helped create momentum for Virginia Republicans this year. ""Pat Herrity and John Cook, the...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 4, 2009; 11:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2008/President , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Warner to Campaign for Deeds Again

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D), who recent polls have suggested may not be just Virginia's most popular sitting politician but perhaps it's more popular in decades, is stepping up his efforts on behalf of fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds as Election Day approaches. Already, Warner is featured in a television ad airing around the state. Monday, he campaigns with Deeds in Northern Virginia. Warner will greet the lunch crowd with Deeds at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington. Also there to lend a hand will be the Moran brothers, U.S. Rep. Jim, as well as former delegate and contender for the gubernatorial nomination Brian, and state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 4, 2009; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell Launches New TV Ad on Transportation

Republican Bob McDonnell began airing a new TV ad on transportation today in traffic-clogged Northern Virginia. McDonnell hopes to pick up some votes in the left-leaning region by touting his plan to fund road and transit improvements and by accusing Democrat Creigh Deeds of only having a vague plan that may include raising taxes (though the ad does not specifically mention Deeds.) McDonnell has proposed paying for transportation by shifting state money and relying on funding sources that don't involve tax increases, such as privatizing the state's liquor stores and adding tolls on some highways, though some have criticized him for offering a plan that would take money from core services....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 4, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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DNC To Donate Another $1 Million to Deeds

The Democratic National Committee will announce tomorrow that it is donating another $1 million as well as additional in-kind contributions to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. That brings the DNC commitment in Virginia to more than $6 million -- roughly equal to the Republican National Committee's pledge of $7 million to aid candidate Bob McDonnell. The DNC, chaired by Gov. Tim Kaine, made the decision to donate more money and other resources to Deeds after seeing McDonnell's lead narrow considerably in recent weeks. "We see a real strong opportunity here,'' said Brad Woodhouse, DNC communications director. "We're real pleased with the direction of the race." The DNC's $1 million check will be sent to Deeds tomorrow. "We're thrilled with the additional commitment from Governor Kaine and the DNC,'' said Mo Elleithee, a senior adviser to the Deeds campaign. "The fact that they are digging so deep shows that they're fully...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 4, 2009; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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