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Virginia Politics Blog: October 25, 2009 - October 31, 2009

Campaigns use new media to get the vote out

Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell are concentrating much of their get-out-the-vote efforts on traditional neighborhood canvasses and phone calls, but are also using online ads, Facebook and Twitter. McDonnell's Website features an absentee ballot application and an interactive map where voters can look up their precinct location. The campaign is urging Facebook members to donate their profile photo or status to McDonnell so their status can say things like: "Today is Election Day. Please don't forget to vote for Bob McDonnell and the Republican ticket." Facebook users can add a yard sign. McDonnell's campaign has used their Website, email lists and GOP-friendly bloggers to get the word out about signing up for volunteer shifts. It has gained more than 2,500 interested volunteers via social media and the Website. Deeds's campaign is reaching out to voters through Facebook ads in which President Obama's image is used and voters are...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 31, 2009; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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With Scozzafava out, McDonnell might be sharing limelight Tuesday

It had appeared increasingly possible that Virginia Republican Bob McDonnell could be the only GOP victory Tuesday, despite all the talk about the national mood turning the party's direction one year after President Obama's election. That's because Republican Chris Christie is locked in a head heat with Democrat Jon Corzine in the race for New Jersey governor. And it had been because it looked like Democrats might pick up a seat in Congress in a special election in New York, where a deep split had erupted in the GOP between supporters of the party's nominee and a third party conservative. But, no longer....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 31, 2009; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Get a mop? Va. GOP says get a broom

Republicans rallying this morning in Springfield had a new prop: A broom that read "McBolliNelli" on the handle. The Republican ticket is stumping throughout the state Saturday but began with a traditional GOP pep rally at Interstate Van Lines in Springfield. Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell was joined by ticket mates Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, attorney general candidate Sen. Ken Cuccinelli and a variety for Republican luminaries, including Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. It was Cuccinelli-- introduced to the crowd as Ken "Don't Tread on Me" Cuccinelli -- who held up the broom, which he had been handed as he made his way to the load dock that served as a stage....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 31, 2009; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Steve Shannon  
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McDonnell on FOX News's Hannity show

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell said in a live interview tonight on FOX News that Republican wins in Virginia and New Jersey next week could provide momentum going into the 2010 mid-term elections -- much like Republican wins in both states did in 1993. "There's a lot of national in this race obviously,'' McDonnell said. "I do think that (people are saying) if McDonnell and (Chris) Christie win there are some opportunities for some added momentum for 2010." In a five-minute interview, McDonnell told conservative host Sean Hannity that he has been able to win over many independents that had voted for Democrats in Virginia in recent years in part because of discontent with President Obama and Congress. "Some of the policies that this Congress has pursued and supported by the president like cap and trade and card check and tax increases and intrusions on the free enterprise system and...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 30, 2009; 9:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell urges voters to go to polls

Earlier we told you what Democrat Creigh Deeds's final message to voters will be, now we are showing you what Republican Bob McDonnell's final contact with Virginians will be before Tuesday's election. We have the final mailer going out from the Republican Party of Virginia on behalf of McDonnell as well as the doorhanger that volunteers are leaving at houses through Election Day supporting the entire GOP ticket -- McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli. McDonnell's message is the same one we have heard for months: Improvements to the economy, education and transportation will be made without new taxes. (And, of course, there's also a photo or two of his family). "We need to work together to bring jobs and opportunity to all Virginians,'' he says on the doorhanger. "I have specific plans and new ideas to create jobs, cut wasteful spending, make government more...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 30, 2009; 8:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Despite odds, Deeds camp working to rouse voters

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, trying to counter a string of bad campaign news and discouraging poll numbers, made four stops in Northern Virginia on Friday, trying to excite his Democratic base and last year's many first-time voters. Deeds (D-Bath) brought with him a host of state politicians touting his ability to come back from what some analysts have called an insurmountable deficit (read Michael Gerson's and E.J. Dionne Jr.'s takes). Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William) predicted the "greatest upset since Harry Truman." U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) argued that Deeds come-from-behind victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary was proof that he could close out a race. He touted the work of 14,000 Virginia volunteers during his own Senate campaign in 2006. "In Virginia, in the off years, voters tend not to focus until the final days," Webb said. "The trick is to appeal to people's self-interest and motivate...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 30, 2009; 7:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds  
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Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween, politicos! And welcome to our first (and only?) All Hallows/Election Eve costume contest! How are you dressing up for Halloween this year? Democrat R. Creigh Deeds drew a few yucks (and groans) by promising earlier today to come as himself -- unlike Republican Bob McDonnell, who is "masquerading" as a moderate. Team McDonnell was prepared for some fright-night fun too, with this retort from spokesman Tucker Martin: "Halloween is spooky, but Creigh Deeds's plan to raise taxes is flat-out scary." Actually, and bear with us here, Martin had more. McDonnell is dressing up as himself for Halloween, Martin said, but if he WERE going to go in costume, he'd dress up like the GEICO money stack with eyes -- "to represent how much money he will save Virginians by stopping Creigh Deeds from raising our taxes." Oof......

By Amy Gardner  |  October 30, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009  
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Updated: Warner misses Deeds events due to flu

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has a case of the seasonal flu, prompting Virginia's junior senator to cancel several planned campaign stops with Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds. Warner showed up to Deeds' first campaign event Friday, at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Woodbridge, but he was visibly ill and told Democratic supporters and Deeds staffers that he was sick and would be leaving early. Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said the former Virginia governor visited a doctor Thursday and got the flu diagnosis, adding that Warner "regretted missing the events but he is contagious." Hall said Warner's illness is regular seasonal flu, not H1N1, known as swine flu. One sign-holding supporter at the Woodbridge event was overheard asking whether Warner had a case of the "bad-poll-number virus," referring to Deeds' underdog status in his race with Republican Robert F. McDonnell. -Derek Kravitz Updated: We just learned that Warner's illness will...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 30, 2009; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Derek Kravitz , Election 2009 , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Planned Parenthood criticizes McDonnell's comments

Planned Parenthood is protesting Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell's statement this week on Laura Ingraham's conservative radio show that he would veto any attempts to use tax dollars to fund their organization. Ingraham asked McDonnell: "Can you promise that as governor you'll use the veto pen to ensure that Virginians' tax dollars are not used to fund Planned Parenthood or abortion?" McDonnell responded: "Yeah, I've said that I would do that. We shouldn't be doing that in Virginia...That's common sense...That'll be part of what we'll get done." Planned Parenthood, which serves 30,000 women in the state a year, is eligible for state money, but does currently not receive any. (In 2008 and 2009, attempts to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for funding were killed in the General Assembly.) But a change could mean the organization's clinics would not be reimbursed for providing healthcare to patients who receive Medicaid, a state-run program....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 30, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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The McCartney Scorecard: The final bell

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: The Washington Post's last poll before Election Day shows McDonnell with his biggest lead yet, 11 points, and no sign of flagging. Obama campaigns with Deeds in Norfolk, but 7 in 10 likely voters said their view of Obama wouldn't affect their vote. With this result, McDonnell's won six out of nine rounds on this scorecard, going back to late August. But remember: The only referee that matters is the electorate. No matter which brawler you prefer, get out and vote! Read the full McCartney Scorecard....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 30, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds campaign urges Obama backers to send a message

We've gotten to take a look at the final mailers going out from the Democratic Party and the campaign of Democrat Creigh Deeds, as well as doorhangers that volunteers will be leaving at houses through Election Day. And the message of them is clear: Your president needs you. There are a bunch of different versions, but what they all have in common are pictures of Deeds and President Obama together, Obama campaign font (if you were awake in America in 2008, you know what we mean), and a strong message that a vote for Deeds is a vote for the same kind of politics Democrats elected last year. This is all in an effort to get voters who backed Obama last year but don't typically vote in off-year elections out for Deeds and the Democratic ticket Tuesday. Read the least subtle version of this mailer here. It begins, "Time to...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 30, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click -- Virginia

Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. With just four days until Tuesday's election, we are now at the stage where there is nothing new for the candidates to say. Just many more people for them to say it to, and quickly. Each have launched their final sweeps through the state, as Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds start multi-day, many stop stumps. McDonnell's five-day, 25-stop "New Jobs, More Opportunities: It Starts Now!" tour began yesterday, with stops in Glen Allen, Danville, Martinsville and Rocky Mount. Deeds was in Richmond and Roanoke. Both candidates finished their days Thursday greeting spectators tailgating at the Virginia Tech-UNC football game. The fans surely were eager to discuss issues of importance to the Commonwealth. Or, perhaps they were drunk and excited for the opportunity to hand their cellphones to a candidate, after shouting to...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 30, 2009; 7:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James Webb , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Shannon highlights endorsements in new ad

Steve Shannon, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, unveiled a new ad today designed to highlight endorsements he has received from newspapers, law enforcement groups and other nonpartisan organizations. Take a look:...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 29, 2009; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar , Steve Shannon  
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Trump donates to McDonnell

Donald Trump, the wealthy real estate magnate and reality show host, donated $25,000 to Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell today, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign contributions in the state. You may recall that The Donald gave $25,000 to Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary, which caused rival Brian Moran to bark: Democrats don't need "Trump-like money" to win. Trump bought the 800-acre Lowes Island Golf Club in Sterling in April with grand plans to create a world-class golf course and renamed it Trump National. Of course....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 29, 2009; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Immigrants urged to back Deeds

Immigrants, who traditionally are not well represented at the polls, are being encouraged to get out and vote Tuesday for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. Organizers of the effort say they want to get the same immigrants who turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama to turn out for Deeds because of his stances on the economy, education, healthcare and, yes, illegal immigration. Deeds and McDonnell have not spoken much about illegal immigration on the stump, but organizers say that Deeds would treat immigration as a federal issue, while McDonnell would not. (Read more about McDonnell's record on immigration and other issues as attorney general here.) The Virginia New Majority and Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign are working to get the targeted immigrants to the polls through canvassing, phone calls, mailers and commercials. The effort kicked off Sept. 15. The goal is to reach 60,000 potential voters in...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 29, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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House Call: Are dueling Loudoun race mailers accurate?

In the online world of opposition research, data can sometimes be misleading. In our latest look at state House races, we examine two campaign fliers circulating around Loudoun County. One claims that state Del. David E. Poisson (D-Sterling) was late in paying his personal property taxes for four separate years between 1993 and 2001. The mailers were circulated by Poisson's Republican opponent, Ashburn businessman Thomas "Tag" Greason. Virginia's Republican Party has made the race between Greason and Poisson a competitive one, pouring $147,000 into Greason's campaign. Poisson himself has received $107,000 from the state Democratic Party and $35,000 from the state House Democratic caucus. In a district that could has trended blue but could go red with a Robert F. McDonnell surge in the governor's race, every little bit helps. But back to the mailer. Poisson, a Sterling lawyer in private practice, said he didn't move to Loudoun until 1995....

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 29, 2009; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Derek Kravitz , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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Tweeting through the finish line

Want to keep up with the major players and pundits in the governor's race through Election Day? Check out our new Virginia politics Twitter aggregator, where you can follow the candidates, bloggers, journalists and staffers who are playing key roles in the final buildup to next Tuesday's voting. Think we should add someone to our watch list? Let us know in the comments....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 29, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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McDonnell gets last-minute biz endorsement

Less than a week before Election Day, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell picked up the endorsement of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, a key business group in the D.C. metro region. The group endorsed Democrat Mark Warner in 2001, but declined to endorse in the 2005 race between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore. "We believe Bob McDonnell will focus the attention needed to improve this region's transportation crisis and enhance economic development efforts throughout the commonwealth, which in turn helps strengthen the entire greater Washington region," said John M. Kane, board chairman and president of Office Movers, Inc. Kane said the group endorsed after interviews with McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds. Issues of importance to the group include transportation, emergency preparedness, energy and the needs of the region's workforce....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 29, 2009; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Obama push for Deeds continues

Ever receive a letter from the president of the United States? About 330,000 Virginians are about to get one, as the Democratic Party of Virginia puts a letter in the snail mail from President Obama to voters identified as part of the "surge" who came out to the polls to elect Obama last year and are now seen as critical to closing the gap between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell. The letterhead includes a nifty presidential symbol with the words, "A special message from President Barack Obama." In the letter, Obama writes, "To make real changes in this country, it will take more than just my presidency - it requires your continued vigilance in the cause of progress. To move this country forward, I need the support and partnership of good governors who are ready to help lay the foundations of change. And this November 3rd is your...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 29, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Despite scandal, Hamilton endorsed

The only two newspapers that offer home delivery in the 93rd House district have both endorsed Del. Phil Hamilton for re-election. This is interesting, of course, because the powerful Republican lawmaker from Newport News is under federal investigation. The Daily Press and the Virginia Gazette both say that even with the scandal, Hamilton is the better choice. Hamilton is under investigation for negotiating a job offer with Old Dominion University before securing state money for the school. A federal grand jury served the Newport News school system and ODU with subpoenas and search warrants. "Phil Hamilton was way out of line on the ODU pay-to-teach scheme, but his value to the 93rd House as an experienced legislator trumps that. If he remains on the Appropriations Committee, all the better,'' the Gazette writes in its editorial. Both newspapers are owned by the same company, but do not share articles or editorials....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 29, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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First Click -- Virginia

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. Five days until the election, and the candidates continue their mad dash last campaign sweeps around the state. A day after President Obama came to town for Democrat Creigh Deeds, Republican Bob McDonnell gets help from some of his party's biggest stars. Likely 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney traveled with McDonnell Wednesday. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned on McDonnell's behalf in Fredericksburg and Fairfax, telling crowds that he hopes McDonnell sparks a national Republican resurgence akin to the one that began in 1993 with his own election as mayor and George Allen's election as Virginia governor. McDonnell today visits Glen Allen, Danville, Martinsville, Rocky Mount and then concludes the day tailgating at the Virginia Tech football game in Blacksburg. Deeds yesterday was in Charlottesville, Reston and Sterling and today has several events...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 29, 2009; 7:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon  
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Can you shame people into voting?

Building on an unusual scientific study about getting out the vote, a new and mysterious nonprofit organization purchased a registration list of Virginia voters that included their voting histories and the voting histories of their neighbors. Next, the organization prepared a mass mailing with those histories and planned to send them out to 350,000 Virginian voters. The idea? To let them know that someone--including their neighbors--would be watching to see whether they perform their civic duty next Tuesday. Critics of the idea called it shaming people into voting. Others complained about an invasion of privacy, though the information is already public. But Debra Girvin, a suburban businesswoman from the suburbs of Richmond who saw herself as nothing more than an idealistic do-gooder--thought this could be a revolutionary exercise in democracy in action. Her organization, The Know Campaign, was just about to send the mailings, too -- when inquiries from reporters...

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 28, 2009; 8:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2009 , Fredrick Kunkle  
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Wagner and Bolling trade more attacks

The way Democrats reckon, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's attendance at the Virginia Military Advisory Council during his four-year term has been perfect--as in, a perfect zero. In what has become the cornerstone of Jody Wagner's campaign for lieutenant goveror, the Democrat dinged her Republican opponent again this week for being a no-show. In a press release, the campaign accused Bolling of not showing up for Tuesday's meeting of the Virginia Military Advisory Council, one of a handful of boards and commissions to which the lieutenant governor is a member by law. The Wagner camp also reiterated its assertion that Bolling has missed 64 of 68 meetings in the last four years, an attendance record of less than 6 percent. "Either Bill still doesn't understand the role of the Lieutenant Governor, or he's too busy devoting his time to being a health insurance executive to care," the campaign said. What...

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 28, 2009; 8:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Fredrick Kunkle , Jody Wagner  
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Romney stumps with GOP ticket

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and possible presidential hopeful, spent a long ay flying across the state with the Republican ticket -- Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinell. "This is a team that has the experience and qualifications to be able to get this state rolling again, creating jobs,'' Romney said. "This is a jobs ticket." The four appeared together at a fundraiser in Virginia Beach on behalf of McDonnell, a rally in Roanoke and a press conference in Richmond. They flew in a borrowed plane belonging to Dan Banker, who owns Lynchburg-based Banker Steel, which is helping put together the foundation for the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero. Romney also headlined a pair of fundraisers for Bolling today -- one this morning in Charlottesville and one tonight outside Richmond. The two events will bring in about $150,000. His fundraiser for McDonnell brought in $100,000. "We will feel pretty...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 28, 2009; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds makes rounds in Northern Virginia

A day after Tuesday's much-anticipated campaign rally with President Obama, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds visited two Northern Virginia schools in his final-week push to bring out the young, enthusiastic voters who gave the president an Election Day surge one year ago. Deeds (D-Bath) spent Wednesday afternoon speaking to students at Northern Virginia Community College's Loudoun County campus in Sterling, touting his higher education proposals and college scholarship program. He also stopped by South Lakes High School in Reston, where he spoke with members of the Young Democrats club before canvassing a nearby neighborhood. "We have six days. We will win this race but we have a lot of work to do," Deeds told the South Lakes crowd. But facing grim poll numbers and lingering questions from within his own party about his campaign, the path to victory does not seem easy. A recent Washington Post poll (poll data) showed...

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 28, 2009; 5:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds  
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Deeds airs closing argument

Democrat Creigh Deeds has now released his positive, final days television ad. The spot talks about Deeds' endorsement by three of the state's four largest papers and implores voters to elect "substance over style." The campaign says the ad will air statewide. The question in these closing days for the Deeds campaign will be one of money. Chances are, no matter where you live in Virginia, you'll be seeing the new spot released by Republican Bob McDonnell a heck of a lot more frequently than this new Deeds ad. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, McDonnell had a cash advantage on Oct. 21 that's only grown since then. Since that day, McDonnell has taken in more than $850,000 in donations of $5,000 or more. Deeds has received only $367,000 in big dollar gifts....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 28, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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McDonnell airs new TV ad

In one of his final TV ads in the race for governor, Republican Bob McDonnell sticks with the positive. In the ad, "Hope" McDonnell lays out his vision for the state, which includes keeping taxes low and controlling spending, while noting his service as an army officer and attorney general. Oh, and he also asks Virginians for their vote next Tuesday. Watch it here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 28, 2009; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Updated: Steele campaigns in Virginia

Expect to see a lot of Michael Steele this week. The chairman of the Republican National Committee will rally volunteers at a campaign office outside Richmond tonight as they begin another night of calling potential voters. Thursday and Friday, Steele will be with Bob McDonnell and the entire Republican ticket as they campaign in Southside, Southwest and Central Virginia. In an interview, Steele told us that he expects to spend election night with McDonnell in Richmond too. Does that mean he expects to win the governor's mansion in Virginia, and not New Jersey? Of course, he didn't say that. He said he expects to spend time in the Garden State earlier on Tuesday. Updated: For those of you who are wondering, Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will also be In Richmond on election night. Kaine will spend the evening at Deeds's party. Steve Shannon and Jody...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 28, 2009; 3:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Log Cabin Repubs praise McDonnell, slam Cuccinelli

Yesterday, the Log Cabin Republicans praised Republican Bob McDonnell for his "inclusive" statements promising never to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Today, the group of Republican gay activists slammed McDonnell's ticket-mate, Ken Cuccinelli, for the reverse. Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for attorney general, was quoted in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper declining to commit to the state's nondiscrimination policy against gays and lesbians. "My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong," Cuccinelli told the newspaper. "They're intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that. . . They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society." David Lampo, vice president of the...

By Amy Gardner  |  October 28, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli , Steve Shannon  
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Excerpts: Post reporter, polling analyst answer questions

Post reporter Anita Kumar, who has been trailing the Deeds campaign, and Post polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta were online earlier today to discuss the Virginia governor's race and the week remaining in it. Read the full transcript or check out some excerpts from the chat below. Fairfax County, Va.: Looking at the poll story and the graphics and table provided, it appears that Deeds is polling about as well in northern Virginia as, say, Mark Warner, but doing much worse in the rest of the state than anybody else you list -- Barack Obama, Tim Kaine, or Warner. Yet Deeds is the guy who's emphatically not from northern Virginia (admittedly Kaine isn't either). What gives? washingtonpost.com: McDonnell's edge over Deeds grows stronger (Post, Oct. 27) Jennifer Agiesta: Thanks for the question, Fairfax! The regional split is one of the most interesting things we found in this last poll. Deeds' victory...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 28, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Q&A with Deeds and McDonnell

The folks at Style Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Richmond, sat down with gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell to ask them a few final, pressing questions before Tuesday's big day. Who is your political hero? When is the last time that you were moved by a piece of great art? If you were to invite us over for dinner, what's the best meal you could make? And this final interesting question: Can you name one good reason that someone should vote for your opponent? Read the answers here....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 28, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Get your governor's race questions answered

Washington Post staff writer Anita Kumar and Post polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta will be online today at noon to discuss the race for governor of Virginia in the final week of the campaign between Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell. Kumar covered Deeds's rally with Obama yesterday, while Agiesta can explain The Post's polling in the race. Submit your questions now or return at noon to read the discussion....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 28, 2009; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell  
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First Click -- Virginia

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 Good Morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. With just a week to go before Election Day, President Barack Obama sweeps into Norfolk for a brief but spirited rally for Democrat Creigh Deeds' bid for governor. A presidential visit--with its Hail-to-the-Chiefiness and its Air Force One photo ops--is all-consuming to the news cycle of a state race, a fact obvious from a quick glance at this morning's Virginia media. Every outlet in the state carried news of the president, his exhortation "I don't believe in can't," and his plea for his supporters to ignore polls and pundits and work to get Deeds elected....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 28, 2009; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin , Steve Shannon  
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Obama, Deeds: funny names

President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds share at least one thing in common: funny names. Or at least that's what Obama said at his rally for Deeds at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. "I said before, look, I would have liked this guy no matter what, because he's got a funny name like Barack Obama,'' Obama said as he and the audience broke into laughter. "So we both overcome these hardships." More laughter. "Served in the state legislature, just like me. So me and him, we're like that." The crowd of nearly 6,000 interrupted Obama's speech several times with applause, shrieks and laughter as he delivered a rousing 20-minute speech for Deeds. "Again and again, Creigh has been there for the people of Virginia, and now he needs you to be there for them,'' he said. Read the story here. Read Obama's full remarks below:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 27, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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Gibbs: Virginia as 'purple as it can get'

Speaking to reporters on board Air Force One en route to this afternoon's rally in Norfolk, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama will not be returning to Virginia for Creigh Deeds after today. "Not that I'm aware of," he said, before noting that he will be returning for a day of stops for Democratic governor Jon S. Corzine (N.J.). "Look, certainly at a federal level, I mean, we were happy to see the progress in the commonwealth, but also understanding that Barack Obama was the first Democratic candidate to carry that state since 1964," Gibbs said, according to a transcript of the gaggle, explaining why Deeds is not doing better in the polls against Republican Bob McDonnell. "So I think everybody understands that it was -- you know, Virginia is a -- is probably as purple as it can get, certainly among a presidential state, given the fact...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 27, 2009; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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VPAP crunches finance numbers, with fascinating results

The Virginia Public Access Project has been working hard to slice and dice finance reports submitted by the campaigns yesterday and has already reported some very interesting findings. For instance, there are 87 people and organizations who contributed a total of almost $504,000 to Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine in 2005, who this year have given to Republican Bob McDonnell instead, to the tune of almost $494,000. By contrast, there are only 50 such people and groups who gave to Republican Jerry Kilgore four years ago and who have contributed to Democrat Creigh Deeds this year. They have given Deeds a total of just under $150,000. We'll be looking through the list of donor switchers for interesting names and stories. VPAP also shows us that of the $16.95 million Deeds has raised for his campaign committee, he has taken in $9.4 million from Virginians and $7.4 million from outside the state....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 27, 2009; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Obama wants his 'friends' to come out for Deeds

As if there was any doubt that in these closing days, the strategy for Democrat Creigh Deeds is AAO (all about Obama), the Democratic National Committee today releases a new highly targeted Facebook ad touting the president's support for Deeds. The ad will appear only on pages of Virginia Facebook fans of Obama, people who live within 50 miles of Norfolk, Richmond or Fairfax and students of Virginia colleges and universities. The goal here is to reach voters who backed Obama last year but may not be inclined to vote in a state election. Such voters, particularly young ones, are notoriously hard to reach through traditional means. (It is assumed that they are probably not reading this blog, for instance.) But Facebook is one way to find them. The exclamation point on the effort, of course, comes this afternoon with the Norfolk rally for Deeds, which Obama is headlining. Stay...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 27, 2009; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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First Click -- Virginia

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009 Good morning, Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. Virginia voters go to the polls one week from today. Which makes news that Republican Bob McDonnell now leads Democrat Creigh Deeds in the race for governor by 11 points in a new Post poll all the more exciting for Republicans and worrying for Democrats. Though Deeds often talks about past races where he overcame a deficit in the polls, the numbers this year have all been moving towards McDonnell in the last few weeks and time is running out. Plus, McDonnell has already been outspending Deeds and he will continue to do so through Nov. 3--as new reports from the Virginia Public Access Project show he raised more than Deeds in the first three weeks of October. The big news today will take place at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, where Deeds rallies...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 27, 2009; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Holtz, McDonnell share some laughs

Lou Holtz, the legendary football coach who led Notre Dame to a national championship and is now an ESPN analyst, cracked jokes and shared stories with a standing room only crowd of Bob McDonnell supporters in Richmond tonight. A sampling of Holtz's quips: What do you call a former Redskins player with a Super Bowl ring? "Senior citzens." What was the most important thing you learned while coaching at William & Mary? "We had too many Marys and not enough Williams." "I know we have Democrats in here. I tried to use small words." "Well, they may have a few more people with the president tomorrow, but it won't be as entertaining,'' McDonnell proclaimed. About 200 people sipped wine and munched on cheese and crackers at the Willow Oaks Country Club as Holtz spoke. Former Lt. Gov. John Hager attended, as did many McDonnell staffers and lobbyists. McDonnell was accompanied...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 9:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Huckabee draws a crowd in Richmond

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor turned FOX News commentator, said the White House's feud with FOX is only helping the network. "The ratings are already at the top and now they are soaring to new levels,'' he said in a press conference Monday afternoon. "The sad thing is it's not just FOX news. [Obama] is taking on the Chamber of Commerce and the insurance companies. It seems like if people disagree with him, it becomes very personalized. It's unfortunate. I think it's going to be very troubling to the White House if they continue this tact." Huckabee will headline the Family Foundation's gala Monday night at the convention center in Richmond. About 1,300 people are expected to attend, including House Speaker Bill Howell, who will introduce Huckabee. Statewide candidates Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli are on the campaign trail and will not attend. Huckabee will headline a...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Deeds meets a surprise 'feisty' woman at forum

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds had an unlikely encounter with a political opponent during a town hall-like forum Monday afternoon -- the sister of the top Democrat in Virginia's General Assembly. During the question-and-answer portion of a Deeds' visit to Greenspring Village, a Springfield retirement community, a 74-year-old Alexandria woman asked Deeds about his transportation plan. She was fed up, she said, with having to "literally make an appointment to pull out" of her driveway off of Duke Street, where she has lived for more than 14 years. But when Deeds, a Democrat from Bath County who is facing Republican Robert F. McDonnell for governor, started to answer her question, the woman cut him off. Deeds had talked about the difficulties Virginians face with congested roads and needed improvements; Ellie Schendell said he was being evasive. "You don't get off the hook that easy," she interjected....

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 26, 2009; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Creigh Deeds  
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Updated: Deeds raises $3.1 million, McDonnell $4 million

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds raised $3.1 million in the first three weeks of October, while his Republican rival Bob McDonnell raised $4 million during that same period, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in Virginia politics. Deeds had nearly $1 million cash on hand going into the final weeks of the race, while McDonnell has almost double that, or $1.8 million, according to VPAP. Deeds's campaign reported 2,392 total donors -- 68% who contributed less than $200. The campaign received contributions from 1,471 new donors. "We are proud of the work the campaign has done to attract support and grassroots involvement in every corner of Virginia," Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey. "This support will be vital as we get our message out in the final 10-days of this election and look to turn out an unprecedented vote for the Democratic ticket." McDonnell's campaign...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Updated: Fundraising numbers start to roll in

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling raised nearly $500,000 during the first three weeks of October and had $524,000 going into the final two weeks of the race, according to his campaign. His Democratic opponent, Jody Wagner, raised $464,000 and had $237,365 in the bank, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign finance. Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Steve Shannon, candidates for attorney general, both raised about $532,000 during the same three weeks. Shannon had $955,000 cash on hand, while Cuccinelli had $154,000, according to VPAP....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Bolling Unveils New Ad on Record

A week before Election Day, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling released a positive new TV ad today highlighting Bolling's accomplishments. The ad mentions Virginia's Children's Health Insurance Program, securing funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, expanding the Governor's Opportunity Fund in economically depressed areas of the state and his opposition to higher taxes....

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Campaign Ads , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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New Post poll coming today

With just a little more than a week to go until Election Day, the Post will release the results of its final poll in the Virginia governor's race later today. Among other key findings, the poll will reveal whether perceptions about President Obama are a factor among likely voters, whether Creigh Deeds has managed to convince core Democrats to vote and whether it appears that Republican Bob McDonnell's arguments on taxes have been effective. And, of course, the poll will tell us who's ahead and by how much. Check it all out later today....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 26, 2009; 9:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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UPDATED: New Wagner ad for NoVa, elsewhere

Privately, a lot of Democrats are saying they think Jody Wagner's campaign to knock of incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is showing signs of life, even while their hopes dim about a win at the top of the ticket. Given those sentiments, it would not be surprising to see Wagner take in some last minute money that will help her air more ads like this one. Today's spot, released this morning, hits what has become a central theme in her campaign--that Bolling was a no-show at state boards and commissions on which he sits. Bolling has said Wagner's math is unfair, for instance, not accounting for meetings missed due to presiding over the state senate. There are three very similar versions--the one for Northern Virginia mentions Wagner's endorsement by the Post editorial board. One in Hampton Roads calls Wagner "Virginia Beach's own" and mentions her endorsement by the Pilot...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 26, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Rosalind Helderman  
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Live Discussion With Creigh Deeds

Democratic candidate for governor R. Creigh Deeds will be online at 11 a.m. today to answer your questions about the governor's race and his plans for running the state. Submit your questions now and tune back in at 11 a.m. to see his answers....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 26, 2009; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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GOP group to air ad during Monday Night Football

The Republican Governors Association will air a new TV ad across the state tonight during the Washington Redskins-Philadelphia Eagles game on Monday Night Football. The topic? Taxes, of course. The ad refers views to the Website www.deeduncut.com. "Deeds' game plan to raise taxes is what will result in Democrats turning over the governorship,'' RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf said. Watch the ad here:...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 26, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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First Click -- Virginia

Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 Good Morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today. Eight days and counting until Election Day. The big event of the week is tomorrow's rally by President Obama in Norfolk for Democratic candidate for governor Creigh Deeds. It comes just a few days after some of the president's senior aides were quoted anonymously saying they see virtually no chance for a Deeds victory against Republican Bob McDonnell and preparing to blame Deeds--and not their boss--for the loss. Awkward alert! But Deeds supporters are working hard to prove those unnamed Cassandras wrong--including working to pump up Obama supporters over the weekend. McDonnell brings in a celeb of his own today, holding a rally in Richmond with former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. Deeds today campaigns at two retirement communities in Fairfax with U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly. Campaign finance reports are due today covering...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 26, 2009; 12:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Kaine rallies the troops

Gov. Tim Kaine spent the day in the Richmond area rallying volunteers at several stops, encouraging them to knock on doors and make calls on behalf of the Democratic ticket -- Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon. "Again and again these three who are on the Republican ticket have been standing in the way,'' Kaine told a group of about 40 vounteers. "Fighting against us on unemployment insurance, on transportation, on pre-K, on banning smoking, on non-partisan redistricting...They know what they're against and that's virtually everything." Kaine was joined by Wagner, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Tom Shields, who is running against Republican Del. John O'Bannon and two of Deeds's four children, Gus and Amanda. The group visited campaign offices in Henrico and Chesterfield and Lucille's Southern Fused Cuisine. (A union-sponsored bus (Building Trades United for Deeds) was parked outside.) Tonight, Kaine will headline a fundraiser for Wagner,...

By Anita Kumar  |  October 25, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Big endorsements arrive on morning stoop

The remaining big Virginia newspapers made their endorsements this morning in the race for governor. No big surprises in the bunch, as papers' editorials boards largely went with the candidate's from the parties that best represented their well known policy stands. The Richmond Times Dispatch backed Republican Bob McDonnell, as did the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. The Roanoke Times backed Democrat Creigh Deeds. So did the Virginian-Pilot. That last editorial provided the only moment of intrigue for the moment. For one, choosing Deeds meant going against hometown candidate McDonnell. But, for the other, the endorsement is marked by a lack of enthusiasm for the chosen candidate. The paper's board chose Deeds as the better bet to fix transportation and manage state finances. But they called his campaign "chaotic" and generally slammed sophistication of the arguments advanced by both sides....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 25, 2009; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Fact Checker: Is that $7,800 number accurate?

Earlier this month, the GOP launched two television ads claiming that that Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds' support for a statewide gas tax and federal cap-and-trade legislation would result in $7,800 in additional taxes per Virginia family every four years. Deeds (D-Bath) has fired back, debuting his own ad in southwest Virginia that called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell to "knock off the lies" about the Democrat's support for the cap-and-trade bill. So who is right and how did McDonnell reach that $7,800 number? McDonnell's $7,800-figure ads were based primarily on two assumptions. The first is that Deeds would support a 20-cent-per-gallon state gas tax to raise the $1 billion he has said is needed for road and transit improvements. Deeds has yet to support such an increase....

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 25, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Governor's Race Fact Checker , Creigh Deeds , Derek Kravitz , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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