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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.

Deeds called Schendell "feisty," which drew laughs from the crowd of about 100, and went on to talk about his plan for a bipartisan commission to look at possible new sources of revenue for state transportation funding.

Afterwards, Jared Leopold, a Deeds spokesman, said Schendell asked a "good question." But Schendell left the forum unconvinced.

Schendell is an older sister to Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), who introduced Deeds at Monday's event. Saslaw confirmed the familial connection but downplayed any political disharmony between siblings.

After the event, Schendell said Deeds' answer about transportation funding was akin to saying, "We're screwed." She also said that Deeds had not made "transportation a priority."

Schendell added that her politician brother would probably be upset upon finding out about her moment in the spotlight Monday.

"He's going to kill me when he finds out," she said.

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 26, 2009; 5:51 PM ET
Categories:  Creigh Deeds  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Updated: Deeds raises $3.1 million, McDonnell $4 million
Next: Huckabee draws a crowd in Richmond


I'll protect you Mrs. Schendell.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | October 26, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Deeds first called a reporter "young lady"

Now calls grandma "feisty"

Boy, Deeds sure has a condescending name for everyone.

Posted by: binghe | October 27, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of Ms Schendell's political leanings, her appraisal of Deeds is correct. Deeds fundamentally doesn't understand the transportation problem. That's why his 'plan' is to punt the problem to other people so they can fix it. It's not a serious proposal, no matter what the Post says. It's a liquid masquerading as a solid.

I suppose a NoVa voter could forgive Deeds for this if he had demonstrated any larger competency of the transportation issue on the campaign trail. But he hasn't. In debate after debate, interview after interview, town hall after town hall, Deeds has fumbled the issue.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | October 27, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

A 74 year old Elinore Schendell lives in an apartment building on Whiting Place in Alexandria, which has no driveway to Duke St. Stevenson Rd is the nearby connector to Duke St, across from Landmark Mall. I imagine it does get backed up at the Stevenson/Duke traffic light, as traffic on Duke crossing 395 often does get congested. However, living in an urban environment just off an entry/exit to a major highway is never going to be like living in the country. It will be congested, there will be traffic. Widening roads and building new ones is not going to reduce traffic in a car-centric densely populated area. As an Alexandrian, I believe it's western Fairfax County that could most benefit from transportation improvements, since those drivers often have one major route (like Rt 7) to get from home to work.

Posted by: hitpoints | October 27, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hitpoints - are you really trying to intimidate this 74 year old woman by kicking out the details of where she lives? Come on - show some class and stop being a bully.

Posted by: notsegrich | October 27, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

If this had happened to McDonnell, it would have been front-page news.

Posted by: tomtildrum | October 27, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

tomtildrum--nonsense, every possible off-moment that Creigh Deeds has had has been made into this pathetic post.

Creigh is the ONLY candidate making any sense on transportation. Period.

Selling liquor stores? Yeah, that'll really go a LONG way toward building some of the $103B needed improvements over the next 20 years (SNARK!). What a joke--it is, has been, and always will be the Republicans who fundamentally seem incapable of grasping the level of resources that are required to actually affect the change necessary to begin resolving Northern Virginia's traffic woes.

Furthermore, McDonnell's ridiculous estimate of $500M for the state stores is way off--from what I'm hearing it would be $200-250M if we're lucky, and this has played out in other states who've tried the same thing. In addition, it willbe so wonderful inviting the uber-corrupt liquor industry into Virginia! Now, in the neighborhoods with pawn shops, check-cashing stores, and a 7-11 store on every corner, now we'll have liquor store predators too!!!


Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 27, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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