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Virginia Politics Blog: October 18, 2009 - October 24, 2009

Anne Holton gets out the vote in Alexandria

Perhaps it was the intermittent rain today, but only about a dozen Democratic activists showed up this afternoon at Ben Brenman park in Fairfax County for a plea by First Lady of Virginia Anne Holton for volunteers to get out the vote for gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds and the entire Democratic ticket. Delegates Charniele Herring and Dave Englin and Alexandria Vice Mayor Kerry Donley joined Holton by the big gazebo at the park, which sits on a former Army base south of Alexandria, for what was billed as a rally but ended up a more subdued affair. The group enjoyed a brief respite from the windy, wet weather on a day when volunteers for virtually every candidate on the ballot in Virginia would be out knocking on doors. Holton told the gathered volunteers that it was imperative that they motivate the masses who turned out last fall to elect...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 24, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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NAACP Berates Shannon, Bolling

Virginia NAACP Executive Director King Salim Khalfani repeatedly criticized Democratic attorney general candidate Steve Shannon and Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for failing to attend the group's candidate's forum last night. Khalfani mentioned their absences multiple times in front of the more than 100 people gathered at the Richmond Marriott for the candidate's forum as part of the group's annual conference. He told the audience how Shannon initially agreed to come but then canceled two days ago with a phone call in which he said he assumed his Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli was not attending either. Actually, Khalfani said, Cuccinelli was the first of six statewide candidates to RSVP and did so personally. He also said that Bolling's campaign called for the first time an hour before the event to say Bolling could not attend and offered to send a surrogate in his place, but the NAACP told the campaign...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 24, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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RNC sends money to downticket candidates

Just how excited is the Republican National Committee about Virginia this year? Today, the RNC transferred $300,000 to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli and House Speaker Bill Howell on behalf of his members. "From the Virginia delegate races all the way to the Governor's mansion it is the top priority of the Republican National Committee to help Virginia Republicans win again,'' RNC Chairman Michael Steele told us in a statement this afternoon. "All of our efforts are focused on rebuilding our Republican majority and we see Virginia as the first step in achieving that goal." The RNC has made an unprecedented committment to Virginia -- nearly $8 million -- that is being directly given to candidates and being spent on getting voters to the polls Nov. 3. The RNC and the state GOP together coordinate the state's get-out-of-the vote efforts with 30 offices and 40 staffers...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 23, 2009; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Pssst! McDonnell stumps in ... Arlington

Republican Robert F. McDonnell continued his "New Jobs, New Virginia" tour with a stop at a flower shop in the Cherrydale area of Arlington -- but don't tell the neighborhood! Owner John Nicholson hosted the event this afternoon at the request of the National Federation of Independent Business, which is supporting McDonnell. Nicholson is a past chairman of the Virginia NFIB's Leadership Council. "My wife said, 'Are you sure you want to do this? Our customers might picket us,'" Nicholson said with a laugh, making a reference to Arlington's overwhelmingly Democratic electorate. Nicholson went through with the event anyway, giving McDonnell a short tour of his flower shop, Company Flowers, and talking about what he views as the bigger challenges facing small business today -- the Business and Professional Licensing tax and the high cost of health insurance, among others. Surrounded by greeting cards and Halloween decorations and the heavy...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 23, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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New NRA ad for McDonnell

The National Rifle Association is airing new TV ads on behalf of Republican Bob McDonnell that appeal to those who are worried about government intervention. Check it out here: Meanwhile, two Italian American organizations are calling on McDonnell to ask the NRA to o take down a previous TV commericial because of its "offensive characterization of Italian American." "This type of negative imagery reinforces defaming stereotypes about an entire ethnic group and undermines the progress made in ending prejudice against all groups in our country,'' says a joint statement by the Columbus Citizens Foundation and the National Italian American Foundation: "We would hope that gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell would appeal to the electorate through substantive policy discussion on issues of importance to the State of Virginia rather than appealing through negative stereotyping."...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 23, 2009; 1:31 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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Potts takes Deeds off-message on charter schools

Former state senator Russ Potts, a Republican who backs Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for governor and stumped for him Wednesday in Winchester, took a little detour off the message train by criticizing Republican Robert F. McDonnell for supporting charter schools. Um, Deeds supports charter schools. And so does President Obama. And Deeds doesn't need to give Obama supporters another reason to think he's not fully supportive of the president. (And that's probably why McDonnell's campaign shopped around the reference to Potts's remarks, which were published yesterday in the Northern Virginia Daily). Here's an excerpt from the article: "One candidate is for charter schools, Bob McDonnell, the other is opposed to charter schools," Potts said. Few charter schools have been created in the Old Dominion for a simple reason, Potts said. Communities that considered it "were very happy with the public education system in Virginia." McDonnell does support charter schools, and...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 23, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell grilled on health care

Republican Robert F. McDonnell today held a brief town hall meeting at the Manassas offices of Micron Technology Inc., which employs about 1,600 people in Virginia. The Idaho-based semiconductor microchip manufacturer's political action committee has contributed at least $10,000 to McDonnell over the years and its CEO, Steve Appleton, delivered a warm introduction before McDonnell's remarks. That's not to say McDonnell was handed softball questions. More than 100 employees gathered in a large conference room to hear McDonnell speak, among them Charles McClure, an electrician who delivered the hardball of the day: How, he asked, will you ensure that Virginians receive the same quality of health insurance you do as a public employee? McDonnell was typically on message, though clearly less comfortable on this issue than the topics he has been talking about regularly on the trail, such as job creation and energy independence. "Anywhere from 5 to 15 percent...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 23, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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More ads on cap-and-trade in Southwest

Democrat Creigh Deeds is out with a new ad--we're at that point in the campaign where that's going to be the story, for both sides, pretty much every day. This one's on jobs and is running in southwest Virginia and Harrisonburg. It features just folks calling on Republican Bob McDonnell to "knock off the lies" about Deeds and the cap-and-trade bill. Deeds has said he supports efforts to reduce global warming but opposes the cap-and-trade bill now pending in Congress. You can watch the ad here:...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 23, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Steele to rally in Virginia today

The Republican National Committee just announced that chairman Michael Steele will be making a pair of last-minute stops in Virginia today, rallying volunteers at two GOP campaign offices in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has seen a slew of prominent Republicans come into the state, but Steele has made only one public appearance and has made few statements about the race. We're still waiting to talk to him about the governor's race from a request made two weeks ago. Steele appeared at a rally in May with McDonnell in Bristol. Information about today's two Steele events are below....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 23, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Democrats work on getting out the vote

Want to guess whose photo appears with Democrat Creigh Deeds on blue fliers encouraging people to vote being hung on doorknobs acoss the state? Not Barack Obama. Not Tim Kaine. Again, Deeds turns to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, the state's most popular politician. Deeds and Warner appear together on the brochure with the title "Move Virginia Forward." "Rebuilding confidence in our economy starts with responsible leadership from a new governor like Creigh Deeds," Warner says. Tonight, Warner will headline two Richmond events for Deeds -- a fundraiser at the home of Susan Swecker, an ABC commissioner and former Deeds campaign manager, and a happy hour at a restaurant in the Shockoe Slip area. Warner and Deeds will campaign together this weekend in Lynchburg, Roanoke, Blacksburg and Hampton Roads....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 23, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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New women's group airs McDonnell attack ad

A new state political action committee called Working Women for Virginia will start airing TV ads in Northern Virginia today to oppose Republican Bob McDonnell's views in his race for governor against Democrat Creigh Deeds. We told you last week that the group registered with the state three weeks ago, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. It has been raising money through word of mouth, social networking and online advertising to pay for the TV commercials, said Margie Omero, a Democratic pollster who helped form the group. Watch the ad here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 23, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds meets with IP workers

In campaign world, Thursday was the day Democrats in Washington began preparing for a loss by Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor's race by blaming him for running a poor campaign. In the real world, it was the day International Paper announced they were closing their paper mill in Franklin County, resulting in the loss of 1,100 Virginia jobs. Both campaigns put out statements expressing sympathy to the workers, as did Gov. Tim Kaine. From twitters, we see that Deeds made a detour from his campaign schedule to meet with workers at the gate last night. Late last night, he tweeted: Shook hands at IP gate. Devestating. Met employees of 41, 36, 31 years. We have much to do to restore hope We're told he was with workers until almost midnight, then got up to do the early morning shift today as well....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 23, 2009; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click -- Virginia

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 Good morning, Virginia! Just 11 days to go until Election Day, and today we have some news for you. Democrat R. Creigh Deeds took a body blow Thursday from the White House, where senior administration sources said they were deeply frustrated with his failure to more fully embrace President Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Preparing for a Deeds loss, these officials seem to be trying to minimize any damage to the president or his agenda by laying the blame squarely at the candidate's feet. Deeds appeared before the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Hampton Thursday night, while surrogates continued the campaign's "Educational Opportunity" school bus tour across the state in a school bus. Republican Robert F. McDonnell continued his "New Jobs, New Virginia" tour yesterday with a stop in Culpeper and the debut of a new ad, "Jobs." He also reiterated, as forcefully as one...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 23, 2009; 7:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon  
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McDonnell talks health care on FOX News

Republican Bob McDonnell criticized the health care package being written on Capitol Hill in a live interview today on Your World with Neil Cavuto on FOX News. "I know our voters are telling us that they're concerned,'' McDonnell said. "While they think it's legitimate to address the cost and access to health care, turning over the greatest medical system in the world to the federal government is probably not a good idea." McDonnell said Virginians are worried about increased costs, decreased choices and a interruption in the doctor-patient relationship. Cavuto said Democrat Creigh Deeds was invited to appear on the show, but that he never heard back from Deeds' campaign. This is the third time in recent weeks that McDonnell has appeared on national TV alone with Deeds either declining or not responding to a interview request....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 7:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Shannon accuses Cuccinelli of 'states' rights' stance

Stephen C. Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, accused Republican rival Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II today of planning to fight the federal government in a way reminiscent of the state's opposition to civil rights legislation in the past. At a debate in Richmond, Shannon said Virginians who opposed federal law supported slavery, shut down schools instead of integrating them, prevented inter-racial marriage and sterilized the mentally retarded. "Our history in Virginia of states' rights is not a flattering picture,'' Shannon said. "When he's talking about states' rights, you have to understand the mistakes we have made in the past." Cuccinelli called Shannon a "race baiter" and later told reporters that his opponent took his allegations too far. "That is truly desperate and over the line,'' he said. "He was just literally trying to throw a grenade in and, frankly, it's terribly inappropriate."...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Steve Shannon  
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McDonnell airs new ad: 'Jobs'

Republican gubernatorial contender Robert F. McDonnell debuted a new ad titled "Jobs" to coincide with his four-city "New Jobs, New Virginia" tour, which was in Culpeper today and comes to Arlington on Friday. Here's the ad's script: "Creigh Deeds job-killing policies: A billion dollars in new taxes. A new energy tax that would kill up to 56,000 jobs. Deeds pushed a billion dollars in new spending. Creigh Deeds, higher taxes, job-killing policies" "Bob McDonnell: a jobs governor. Job-creating policies endorsed by Virginia businesses. Bob McDonnell, no to higher taxes and wasteful spending. Yes to innovative policies to create jobs. Bob McDonnell: a jobs governor." And view the ad here:...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 22, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McCartney Scorecard: This Week Endorsed by Deeds

Post columnist Robert McCartney is tracking the governor's race for readers, tallying up the blows week-by-week. Here's his take on the past week: Deeds takes the round on points. He receives a ringing endorsement from The Washington Post's editorial page, and early enough to use it in television ads. Deeds also gets Obama to commit to campaign with him again, despite White House grumbling that he's run a poor campaign. All this help might well come too late for the Democrat, who's been well behind in the polls and didn't land any big blows in the fourth and final debate. Read the full McCartney Scorecard. McCartney also was on News Channel 8 earlier today to discuss his column about GOP attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli. You can watch the clip below....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 22, 2009; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell: I will not raise taxes

Would Republican Bob McDonnell ever be willing to raise taxes? Our colleague Lee Hockstader suggests in a column that he might. He questions whether the gubernatorial candidate might in fact be leaving himself some wiggle room to support a tax increase after the economic recession is over. The McDonnell campaign says no. McDonnell usually says he won't raise taxes in "this tough economic time," though he has on occasion dropped those last few words and stated unequivocally that he would not raise taxes under any circumstances. "Bob McDonnell will not raise taxes as governor,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "Creigh Deeds, on the other hand, has pledged to raise taxes immediately, even in a recession. It's a defining difference in this race." Deeds has said he would be willing to raise taxes for transportation, though he has not said which taxes or how much. He has said he would sign...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell  
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A second Deeds ad on The Post endorsement

We noted that a Northern Virginia ad that Democrat Creigh Deeds released several days about Deeds's endorsement by The Washington Post featured only lines praising Deeds -- and none of the endorsement's criticism of Republican Bob McDonnell. It turned out, the Deeds campaign was saving those tidbits of the piece for a second ad, this one all about McDonnell. The ad began running Thursday morning and features pretty much nothing but quotes from The Post ed board about McDonnell, against a white background. Watch it here....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 22, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Updated: McDonnell up on black radio

Republican Bob McDonnell will start airing a radio ad today mentioning three prominent African American leaders -- President Obama, former Virginia governor Doug Wilder and businesswoman Sheila Johnson -- as he tries to cut into the usually Democratic black vote. All three African Americans in the ad are Democrats, and only Johnson has endorsed him. The ad mentions that McDonnell, worked as attorney general with Wilder to reduce gang violence, holds the same views with Obama on charter schools and is supported by Johnson, wealthy co-founded of Black Entertainment Television. "Bob McDonnell is a bipartisan leader who gets results,'' Johnson says in the ad. "That's the kind of governor we need. And that's why this Democrat strongly supports Bob McDonnell.'' The positive 60-second ad is airing on African American stations in Hampton Roads. Listen to the ad here: Update: Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Del. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake) responded to...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell  
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GOP All-Stars to campaign for McDonnell

Democrat Creigh Deeds may be holding rallies with Presidents Obama and Clinton, but we hear Republican Bob McDonnell has a few bold names coming into the state for him too. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, all are scheduled to campaign for McDonnell in the next two weeks. All have been mentioned as possible candidates for president in 2012. In addition, Hall of Famer Bruce Smith -- a Norfolk native and Virginia Tech alum -- and former NFL quarterback Steve Beuerlein will hold a rally for McDonnell in Virginia Beach Saturday. College football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz, a former Notre Dame coach-turned-TV commentator, will hold a meet-and-greet with McDonnell Monday in Richmond. All four possible GOP presidential hopefuls have been in the state for McDonnell before,...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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GOP group launches Deeds ad on public option

We knew this was coming. The Republican Governors Association launched a new ad in Northern Virginia today seizing on what it calls Democrat Creigh Deeds's conflicting statements about whether he would consider opting out of a public health insurance option if Congress extended that possibility to the states. "Creigh Deeds waffles more than IHOP after church lets out on Sunday," RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf said. "But unlike their customers, Deeds leaves 'everything on the table.'" Deeds made the comments at Tuesday night's final debate in Salem. Immediately after the debate, he tried to explain to reporters that he believed the public option might help reduce health care costs and expand coverage, but he is not certain it is the best way to achieve those goals. "It may be one way, it might not be the best way," he said. Watch the ad here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 22, 2009; 9:27 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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First Click -- Virginia

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 Good morning politicos! Twelve days to go until Election Day, and the campaigns for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates are sprinting along. The narrative remained largely static Wednesday, with more encouraging poll numbers for Republican Bob McDonnell and more evidence that Democrat Creigh Deeds is banking on a last-minute surge of support from supporters of President Obama. Public Policy Polling, which uses a methodology that our in-house polling experts don't love, released numbers Wednesday giving McDonnell a 12-point lead over Deeds, a large jump from three weeks ago, when the same firm put Deeds within five points. Deeds announced that Obama would campaign with him next Tuesday at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Deeds also launched a new TV ad featuring Obama campaigning for him in Tysons Corner. McDonnell launched his "New Jobs, New Virginia" tour yesterday with a stop at a...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 22, 2009; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds takes heat online over public option comments

Left-leaning blogs and Democratic twitters are giving Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds a hard time over his comment at Tuesday night's final debate in Salem, indicating that he would consider opting out of a public health insurance option if Congress extended that possibility to the states. Daily Kos has run some items taking Deeds to task over his wishy-washy support for the public option, for instance. That's not to mention Virginia bloggers Ben Tribbett and Lowell Feld. After the debate, Deeds tried to explain to reporters that he believed the public option might help reduce health care costs and expand coverage, but he is not certain it is the best way to achieve those goals. "It may be one way, it might not be the best way," he said. (His campaign also circulated a statement today about the issue saying that "if the public option proves to be the...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 21, 2009; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Excerpts: Post reporters discuss election

Rosalind Helderman and Amy Gardner of The Post were online earlier today to answer questions about the governor's race and the down-ballot campaigns. Read the full discussion transcript. Excerpts follow. Richmond, Va.: You've reported several times that Deeds is having a tough time energizing Democrats and Obama voters and that was something he was going to emphasize over the next two weeks. However, last night he waffled on his support for the public option. Combined with his distancing himself from many of Obama and Congressional Democrat policies, is Deeds contradicting his proclaimed path to victory? Amy Gardner: Great question. I think this speaks to the heart of Deeds's challenge -- the fact that he is a conservative Democrat, many of whose positions are to the right of President Obama, but who is seeking election in a year when the clear path to victory for a Democrat is to rally Obama...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 21, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Obama signs email for Deeds

More signs that Democrat Creigh Deeds has made a late turn to Obama Democrats, in hopes of revving up the Democratic base behind his candidacy for governor: An email went out Wednesday to supporters of Organizing for America in Virginia, Obama's political organization. Unlike last week's missive that come out under the hand of the group's executive director, this email was signed by the man himself. "We've worked too hard and come too far to let Virginia slip back. Creigh Deeds has embraced the movement you started by speaking directly and honestly to Virginians about the challenges ahead and the ideas that will move us forward," writes President Obama in the email. OFA sent out in an email in Obama's name once before, the day after Deeds won the Democratic primary. Click through to read today's email in full....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 21, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Cuccinelli: Shannon doesn't know the job

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for attorney general, is up on the air new with a new TV ad that accuses his Democratic opponent Steve Shannon of not knowing much about being attorney general. At their last debate, Cuccinelli asked Shannon to name all the divisions in the attorney general's office. Shannon said he would get back to the question, but that first he wanted to return to a previous issue. Later, when he did return to the question, he said it didn't matter. He never did answer the question. "Shannon didn't answer the questions ... because Shannon doesn't know the job,'' the ad says at the end. Check out the ad here: (For the record, Office of the Attorney General spokesman David Clementson shared the following divisions off of the department's internal organizational chart: Administration; Civil Litigation; Financial Law and Government Support; Health, Education and Social Services; Technology Real...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 21, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Steve Shannon  
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Questions about the race? We'll answer them today.

Post reporters Rosalind Helderman and Amy Gardner will be online at 2 p.m. to discuss their stories today on the debate and Bill Clinton's Virginia visit, as well as any other aspect of the Virginia governor's race. Submit questions now or read the full discussion. Earlier today, Post editorial board member Lee Hockstader took questions about the board's decision to endorse Deeds in the race -- read some excerpts from that discussion after the jump....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 21, 2009; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Va. gun rights group endorses GOP top three

A gun-rights political action committee in Virginia has given its endorsement to the GOP's top three candidates this year, partly because none of the Democrats completed the group's candidate survey, its chairman said Wednesday. The blessing from VCDL PAC, which is affiliated with the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is not exactly a surprise. The National Rifle Association's political wing has also given its seal of approval to Republicans Robert F. McDonnell, who is running for governor; Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is seeking reelection; and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli. But the VCDL's leaders say their group does not follow the NRA in lockstep. They said the VCDL, which claims about 5,000 dues-paying members and an email list of at least 13,000, has endorsed Democrats and independent candidates in the past. And the statewide gun-rights PAC could back some non GOP candidates when it issues its list of endorsements in...

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 21, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Fredrick Kunkle  
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Obama in Norfolk for Deeds next week

We told you we'd let you know when we had more details about President Obama's Oct. 27 foray into Virginia to campaign with Democratic gubernatorial hopeful R. Creigh Deeds. Here you go: A "Rally for Virginia" featuring Obama and Deeds will take place at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. The Deeds folks say further information will be available in the coming days....

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 21, 2009; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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GOP supporter defects from Deeds camp

Former Roanoke state Sen. Brandon Bell, who had been among some prominent Republican supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds earlier this year, announced Wednesday that he changed his mind and now supporters Republican Robert F. McDonnell, the McDonnell campaign announced today. "I've watched this campaign unfold since both candidates secured their respective nominations," Bell said in a statement issued by the McDonnell folks. "In the four months since that time, Bob McDonnell has impressed me with his campaign, and his determined focus on rolling out specific policy proposals for Virginia's future." Two steadfast Republican supporters of Deeds, former state senator Russ Potts of Winchester and former delegate Jim Dillard of Fairfax, are on the road in Northern Virginia today talking up his education plan. Mike Gehrke of the Deeds campaign today simply said, "We're still proud of the support we have from Republicans who know Bob McDonnell and...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 21, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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U.S. Chamber Targets NoVa Drivers

As we told you earlier this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is airing radio and TV ads in the pricey Washington media market to target Northern Virginians stuck in traffic. The hard-hitting ads accuse Democrat Creigh Deeds of having no plan for transportation, while Republican Bob McDonnell has proposed widening I-66 inside the Beltway and extending Metro to Dulles airport. "Tell Creigh Deeds we need a real transportation plan now,'' a narrator says at the end. The transportation TV ad -- as well as a second one airing in the rest of the state on the so-called federal card-check legislation -- are part of a significant ad buy by the chamber that began last week. McDonnell and his backers, which include the Republican Governors Association, the NRA and the chamber, continue to significantly outspend Deeds and his supporters on advertising. Check out the ads after the jump....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 21, 2009; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds releases ad featuring Obama

If there was any doubt that R. Creigh Deeds has President Obama in a bear hug in the final two weeks of the gubernatorial campaign, it should be erased today. The Democratic hopeful has just released an ad called "Fired Up," which features the president at his inspirational best, calling on supporters to throw their support behind Deeds as a continuation of his history-making campaign last year. As we've reported before, Deeds lags Republican Robert F. McDonnell in the polls and must whip up the Democratic base in the two weeks left before the election. "Last year, Virginia, you helped lead a movement of Americans who believed that their voices could make a difference," Obama says in the ad. "I need every one of you to get fired up once again so that we can go towards the future, with Creigh Deeds leading the great Commonwealth of Virginia."...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 21, 2009; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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First Click -- Virginia

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009 Good morning, politicos! Though perhaps not if you're a Virginia Democrat. Several new polls this week show Republican Robert F. McDonnell with a comfortable, even growing lead against Democrat R. Creigh Deeds -- and the word from Public Policy Polling, which releases new numbers this morning, seems to indicate more of the same. (Usual caveat: Our polling experts don't love the methodology on these polls). PPP's Tom Jensen wrote in a blog item yesterday that even Democrats planning to vote are unenthused, and that many more are simply sitting this one out. "We're looking at a McCain +6 electorate this year in a state that was Obama +6 last year," Jensen wrote. "There's no path to victory if that stays true through election day. We'll see how much good the visits from Obama, Bill Clinton, and other leading national Democrats do in the last few weeks...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 21, 2009; 6:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Moderator Proves Tough in Salem

Moderator Jay Warren is tough on both guys tonight. Here's a rough exchange he had with Democrat Creigh Deeds, pushing him on his transportation plan. Warren: "What tax would you see increase under creigh deeds?" "What tax would you see increase under creigh deeds?" Deeds asked incredulously. "I can answer that," McDonnell said, as the crowd laughed. "No you can't," Deeds responded. "What I've said is that anything that has a nexus to transportation," Deeds began. "What does that mean? Sales tax on cigarettes? Alcohol?" Warren asked. "Anything that has a nexus to transportation. Anything that involves all the people who use the transportation system, both people who live in state and out of state."...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 20, 2009; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Roanoke College Prepares for Final Debate

Greetings from the campus of Roanoke College in Salem, Va., where Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds are 9 minutes from taking the stage for their final debate before the Nov. 3 election. Both candidates have enthusiastic supporters outside and went out and visited with their people before the kickoff. We'll give you a couple live updates as the debate progresses....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 20, 2009; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Supervisors: Loudoun County budget picture 'bad'

Loudoun County's budget outlook is getting worse, prompting officials to warn of looming employee layoffs and deep cuts to services. Supervisor Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge), chairman of the Board of Supervisors' budget planning committee, said the county is looking at "tremendously large reductions" in services caused by a 7 percent decline in the county's tax revenue. Foreclosures have not let up and the 30 percent of Loudoun County households that bring home less than $75,000 per year are getting hit hard, he said. "The revenue situation its not getting better," Burton said. "It's still declining." Some critics have accused Burton of living in the weeds, so to speak, and offering increasingly pessimistic visions of the county's budget future. The numbers offered up at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting are preliminary, budget officials say, and there's still three months let to go in the season. But with three new schools and...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 20, 2009; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Loudoun County  
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Lobbyist confirmed for Loudoun health post

Despite an aggressive campaign to get her kicked off Loudoun's chief advisory health board, a lobbyist who worked against autism legislation last year in Richmond was confirmed Tuesday to a third term. On a 5-4 vote, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved the reappointment of Mindy M. Williams, a lobbyist with Fairfax-based Access Point Public Affairs, to the Loudoun Health Council. Her lobbying work against autism legislation during last year's General Assembly session caused Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) to call for her ouster. The Loudoun County delegation to the Virginia General Assembly supported bills that, if enacted, would have required insurers to pay for therapy for children under the age of 6 who have been diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorders. "Parent after parent of autistic children have come to me, asking for us and the Chamber to some gesture of compassion and send someone else to Richmond," Miller said Tuesday...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 20, 2009; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Loudoun County  
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Clinton: 'Governor Deeds' is 'the best choice'

Your Browser Does Not Support IFrames. Former president and Democratic celebrity Bill Clinton dropped into Virginia today to fire up the ground troops for Creigh Deeds, who is racing to catch up to Republican Robert F. McDonnell with just 14 days to go until Election Day. Clinton spoke to about 300 supporters and a bank of TV cameras crowded into his friend Terry McAuliffe's old campaign headquarters in Tysons Corner. With McAuliffe and Deeds at his side, the former president praised Deeds's plans to create jobs, improve access to college, protect education funding and find new money to fix Virginia roads. "Senator Deeds -- Governor Deeds. It sounds pretty good, huh?" Clinton said. The room was filled with local elected officials and party organizers, many of whom expressed private doubts about Deeds's ability to overcome McDonnell's lead. But supporters greeted Clinton, McAuliffe and Deeds with excitement and cheers -- and...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 20, 2009; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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GOP spoofs ads touting Post endorsement of Deeds

Good Samaritans that they are, Virginia's Republicans Tuesday put up a new Web ad that fills in some lines omitted from a Washington Post endorsement that heartily endorsed the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds. The GOP ad, entitled "Second Cut," slyly juxtaposes lines about Deeds' pledge to raise taxes for roads, if necessary, with images lifted from a Democratic ad that touts Deeds' receipt of the newspaper's endorsement. The GOP ad throws in some other choice lines from other Post opinion pieces, too, to drive home the point Deeds' stand on taxes may not be as popular with voters as it is with the editorial board. To be fair, this ad omits some choice lines of its own -- including the editorial board's assertion that Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell is a culture warrior who "has staked out the intolerant terrain on his party's right wing." To read...

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 20, 2009; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Fredrick Kunkle  
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The Kitchen Table: Disenchanted Obama voter, revisited

In August, we brought you the story of Chris Ann Cleland, a real estate agent from Prince William County whose buyer's remorse over voting for President Obama last fall was coloring her view of the Virginia governor's race. Obama was not the change agent he promised to be, Cleland said. "I feel like I've been punked." The quote so resonated that it got picked up by New York Times columnist Frank Rich and scored Cleland an interview on Fox News. But two months later, we wondered what she had finally decided about the governor's race. Well, she settled on Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. The reason, she said, came down to two words: liquor stores. A few weeks ago, Cleland was so busy with her work and so tired of what she perceived as politics as usual that she thought she might not even vote in the election this year. But...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 20, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Prince William , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Shannon blasts Cuccinelli for 'personal political agenda'

Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, released two new TV ads today. Both ads attack his Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, for having what Shannon calls a "personal political agenda." "Unfortunately, my opponent has not released a single public safety proposal,'' Shannon said. "Instead, he has focused on divisive issues and his personal political agenda, and has even said won't enforce laws he disagrees with." Watch the ads here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 20, 2009; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Ken Cuccinelli , Steve Shannon  
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First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009 Good morning, politicos! Just 14 days to go until Election Day, and things are looking good for the GOP/bad for the Dems. A new poll gives Republicans Robert F. McDonnell a substantial lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. We have a few issues with this poll, but there's another one out this morning from Clarus that shows McDonnell up by 8 points, 49 to 41. Democrat Creigh Deeds says he's still got plenty of time, and that his campaign will now focus on drawing out supporters of President Obama and core Democrats generally. The candidates for lieutenant governor, incumbent Republican Bill Bolling and Democrat Jody Wagner, took the proverbial gloves off last night in a televised debate. And Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, unveiled a tough new ad accusing Republican Ken Cuccinelli of not being tough enough on public corruption because he hasn't...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 20, 2009; 6:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , First Click , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon , Timothy M. Kaine  
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McDonnell for president?

Republican Bob McDonnell pledged to serve his entire four-year term -- and not run for president in 2012 -- if he is elected Virginia governor Nov. 3. We never really considered McDonnell a serious contender for president in 2012, but In an interview with Ryan Nobles of Richmond's NBC12 McDonnell puts a stop to any presidency rumors that are out there. "I think those are all pipe dreams down the road. You know there are a number of national political pundits that are paying an exceptional amount of attention to Virginia,'' he said. "I am running to be governor of Virginia, this is a state that I have lived in virtually my entire life. I love this state we have great opportunities ahead for the state to create more opportunity and prosperity for our citizens, in so many ways, I am fully committed to four years as Virginia's governor." But...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 19, 2009; 10:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Va. lieutenant governor candidates duke it out

By Fredrick Kunkle Virginia's candidates for lieutenant governor duked it out in their one and only face-to-face debate in Salem Monday night with feisty and sometimes personal exchanges over taxes, jobs, education and each other's competence. In a one-hour debate hosted by Roanoke College, Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling repeatedly blamed Democratic challenger Jody M. Wagner for making poor decisions as a top finance official that complicated Virginia's efforts to cope with the recession. Bolling said Wagner, who served as secretary of finance under Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, had muffed important revenue forecasts while preparing the current two-year budget, forcing the governor to cut jobs and take other drastic measures to keep the books balanced. "We're in this mess because four years ago we adopted a budget that was based on a totally unrealistic fiscal foundation," Bolling said. He also accused Wagner of wanting to raise taxes at every turn....

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  October 19, 2009; 10:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Debates  
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Another polls shows a big McDonnell lead

A new poll out this evening from the Virginian-Pilot, WVEC television, the ABC affiliate in the Hampton Roads area and Christopher Newport University shows Republican Bob McDonnell with a hefty lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in the race for governor. The poll is out this evening but involved interviews with 506 likely voters from Oct. 8 to 13. It showed McDonnell with a 14 point lead over Deeds, leading the Democrat by 44 to 30 percent. But the poll also showed that 22 percent of likely voters were undecided, a figure that would mean the race remains far from decided. And it's worth recalling that the poll is now a week old. CNU professor Quentin Kidd told the television station that one reason the poll indicates so many undecided voters is that the results do not included so-called "leaners," people who told the pollsters that they their decision was not...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 19, 2009; 7:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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New ad pushes Deeds as hometown choice

Another new ad from the Deeds campaign today, this one for the Bristol and Harrisonburg markets. The spot is designed to get votes for Deeds as the hometown kid. It features footage of Deeds with a shotgun and notes his A rating from the NRA; it does not mention that the NRA has endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell this year. "For too long...our part of Virginia has been forgotten. Forgotten by Richmond when it comes to jobs, roads and schools. But this election we have a chance to change all that by voting for Creigh Deeds," the narrator says. It's a message that Deeds has hit hard before and that could go over well in rural Virginia where many people do feel forgotten. It may not be as well received in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, where many voters think too few of their tax dollars stay in their regions already....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 19, 2009; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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GOP activist questions Deeds's contributions

Longtime Republican activist Gary Byler is asking the State Board of Elections to investigate whether Democratic gubernatorial Creigh Deeds violated state law by receiving contributions from labor unions. Byler, a longtime friend of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, claims that Deeds and his backers, including the Democratic Governors Association, have accepted millions of dollars from groups that have not registered with the state or disclosed donors. In a letter sent Monday, Byler asked the board to look into whether $3.7 million from the DGA and $1.1 million from unions comply with state laws....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 19, 2009; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Updated: U.S. Chamber airs ads in governor's race

Have you heard or seen the radio or TV ads being paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Virginia governor's race? They've been airing since last week in Northern Virginia and will be up through Election Day. The topic is transportation. But the chamber, which has not endorsed Democrat Creigh Deeds or Republican Bob McDonnell, refuses to share the ad, script or message with us. It's an odd strategy -- considering that the ads are already on the air in the state. What is the nation's largest business group trying to hide? In addition, the chamber is airing TV ads across the state on the so-called card check legislation that would remove the secret ballot from union elections. They won't give us any information on that one either, but we know where chamber officials stands on that issue: They oppose the bill. McDonnell has repeatedly tried to...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 19, 2009; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Fairfax gearing up for federal illegal immigrant checks at jails

Fairfax County officials are pushing to get the local sheriff to hurry up and institute a new federal program that will automate illegal immigrant fingerprint checks at local jails. "Immigration reform and enforcement is an extremely sensitive and complex federal issue but one with very real local impact, and one this board should have a detailed discussion on soon," said Supervisor Patrick S. Herrity (R-Springfield). "One area where I think we all do agree is that those who are here illegally and commit serious or violent crimes should be removed from the community and deported." This past fall, Herrity asked Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry about the Secure Communities program, a federal effort to streamline fingerprint checks on suspected illegal immigrants arrested on suspicion of other crimes. Barry said his office's application to the federal 287(g) program -- essentially a local agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold and...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 19, 2009; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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Shannon links Cuccinelli to Hamilton in new ad

Steve Shannon, the Democrat running for attorney general, released a new ad today titled "Cronies," in which he ties his opponent, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, to embattled Del. Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News). Cuccinelli was the only statewide candidate this year not to ask Hamilton to resign after it was revealed that Hamilton sought a job at Old Dominion University while also trying to get state money for the school. In August, Cuccinelli said he believed that the voters should decide Hamilton's fate. "The circumstances that Delegate Phil Hamilton is involved in are disappointing,'' he said at the time. "My understanding of those circumstances suggest that it is in an issue between Del. Hamilton and voters in his district. The issue is now on the table in that race and will be part of the decision voters in that district make as they consider who will represent them in the state house...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 19, 2009; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Ken Cuccinelli , Sandhya Somashekhar , Steve Shannon  
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Bolling links Wagner to Deeds in new ad

Well, this is a first. We got a response from Democrat Jody Wagner on Republican Bob Bolling's new attack ad before Bolling even released the ad. Bolling started airing his fourth television ad, "Bring," across the state Monday, including in Northern Virginia. It seeks to link Wagner with gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds on their support for higher taxes and "dishonest" campaigns. "Jody Wagner knows that Virginians won't support her plan for higher taxes, which is why she has been engaging in negative and dishonest attacks against Bill Bolling,'' said Bolling campaign manager Matt Wells. "It's ironic that the candidate who ran the first false negative ad of this race would use yet another misleading attack to complain about negative campaigning,'' Wagner campaign manager Elisabeth Pearson said....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 19, 2009; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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One day later, Deeds gets Post nod in ad

That didn't take long. Democrat Creigh Deeds will begin airing a television ad today in Northern Virginia using lines from Sunday's endorsement by The Post editorial board, praising Deeds on education, transportation and the economy. It worked to spark momentum for the Deeds campaign during the Democratic primary -- Deeds hopes it can do the same this time. The ad is all positive, including only lines from the editorial that support Deeds and resisting the temptation to use some of the choice language the ed board had for opponent Republican Bob McDonnell. Watch the ad here....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 19, 2009; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Watts helps Va. GOP get out the vote

With two weeks left, there's no shortage of national Republicans willing to help the GOP ticket win on Nov. 3. Tonight, former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma will headline a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Virginia's get-out-the-vote efforts. About 100 people are expected to attend the event at the Alexandria home of Sandy Liddy Bourne, a Republican activist and daughter of former Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy. Bourne, a one-time candidate for the House of Delegates who works for a conservative think tank, was mentioned as a possible successor to former state chairman Jeff Frederick in the spring, but she declined to run. The fundraiser is the last one for the state party before the election. Tickets are $50 to $500. The event is expected to raise about $50,000....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 19, 2009; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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Get to know a candidate: Hair edition

Welcome to Get to Know a Candidate, an occasional Virginia Politics blog feature about the the more light-hearted personal side of the gubernatorial candidates. Today, we consider the topic of the two men's hair. There are probably some metaphors to be drawn about the campaign from the topic. The coif of Republican Bob McDonnell, who has run a largely smooth and disciplined campaign, appears unshakable, with never a hair out of place. Democrat Creigh Deeds sometimes does television interviews with his hair still mussed from the wind. This item was inspired by Julian Walker's profile of McDonnell in Saturday's Virginian-Pilot, where Walker took on directly the issue of whether the Republican dyes his hair. "McDonnell laughed when asked whether he uses dye to conceal the silver strands in his never-out-of-place head of hair. He insists that he doesn't apply color; wife Maureen said a combination of natural extracts like chamomile...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 19, 2009; 8:30 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

Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 Good morning, politicos! Just 15 days to go, and boy has it gotten busy. Republican Robert F. McDonnell and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds have transformed the race for governor into a sprint, with both zooming through mostly friendly crowds over the weekend to rev up their bases. On Saturday, McDonnell rallied veterans in Virginia Beach with U.S. Sen. John McCain -- but coverage of the event didn't turn out exactly as planned when McDonnell was asked for his views on climate change. McDonnell went on to attend a Norfolk State-Hampton University football game in Norfolk, a seafood festival in heavily Republican Poquoson, a voter event in Glen Allen with House Minority Whip Eric I. Cantor and a Hispanic reception at a Mexican restaurant in Richmond. Deeds flooded the zone too, rallying across Northern Virginia Saturday with various ethnic groups seen as crucial to Democratic turnout:...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 19, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Eric Cantor , First Click , Jody Wagner , John McCain , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon  
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McAuliffe tells Fairfax Dems: Don't count out Creigh

So if former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe is betting Gov. Jon Corzine takes New Jersey by seven, what about his former opponent Creigh Deeds in Virginia? "Deeds by two," McAuliffe said this evening at the Fall Festival of the Dranesville Democratic Committee, at his McLean home. Dozens of longtime Democrats were greeted by an enormous plastic pumpkin in front of the home before heading inside for the fundraiser and general pep rally. They crowded into the McAuliffe's kitchen to hear from Del. Margi Vanderhye and Del. Jim Scott, lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner, McAuliffe and Deeds' campaign manager Joe Abbey. A laminated copy of this morning's Washington Post endorsement of Deeds was propped up on the kitchen table....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 18, 2009; 7:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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On Fox, McAuliffe and Rove Wager $5 on Va., N.J.

Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe appeared this afternoon on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, along with Karl Rove, mostly to discuss recent charges by the White House that Fox's news coverage is slanted. But as the interview concluded, the two got into a brief but spirited debate over the outcomes of the Virginia and New Jersey races. It started as Wallace was wrapping up the piece, with McAuliffe shouting out, "Democrats big win, Virginia and New Jersey, coming up!" That prompted Rove to pull out a folder he had brought for the occasion and hold up a print-out of a story from the Richmond Times Dispatch that ran just before the June 9 primary between McAuliffe, Brian Moran and now Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds. Headline: McAuliffe says Deeds Can't Beat McDonnell "I agree with Terry McAuliffe," Karl Rove said. "I said Deeds can win. Of course he can...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 18, 2009; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
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In the Morning Papers, Endorsements Start Arriving

The editorial boards of Virginia's newspapers are starting to make their endorsements for governor. The Daily Press this morning backed Republican Bob McDonnell. So did Inside Nova, which includes both the Manassas News-Messenger and the Potomac News. Also endorsing McDonnell this weekend were the Winchester Star and the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. The Washington Post's editorial board endorsed Democrat Creigh Deeds this morning. Do newspaper endorsements matter?...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 18, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Deeds, McDonnell Make Their Cases

The Richmond Times Dispatch published op-eds today from Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell on why Virginians should vote for them on Nov. 3. Both candidates for governor talk about jobs, traffic, schools and energy. Read Deeds's response here and McDonnell's here....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 18, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Fact Check: Fueling the Debate Over Taxes

In a campaign that has lately shifted the debate to taxes, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic Party candidate for governor, says Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell is exaggerating the potential cost that Deeds' proposals would cost Virginia's families. Leaving aside the GOP's questionable claim that Deeds' total tax tab would amount to about $7,800 per family -- which would require yet another foray into the thicket of computations and counter-computations of the impact of cap-and-trade regulation on American consumers -- let's focus for the moment on the bill for transportation. Deeds says Virginia needs at least $1 billion in new revenues every year to fix its transportation woes. He does not specify where the new money will come from, other than to say that he will not use any money that now supports the state's public schools. He tells a scrum of reporters that he will not raise...

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 18, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Governor's Race Fact Checker , Creigh Deeds , Fredrick Kunkle , Robert F. McDonnell , Transportation  
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