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Virginia Politics Blog: August 1, 2010 - August 7, 2010

McDonnell to appear on CNN's 'State of the Union'

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) will square off on CNN's "State of the Union'' show on Sunday. The two governors will debate health care, immigration, the economy and Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, which was overturned this week. You can watch the show at 9 a.m. Sunday. We'll be watching too and will bring you coverage in case you miss it....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Warner, tech council assist Arlington with burial records

A consortium of high tech companies from Northern Virginia is stepping in to help Arlington National Cemetery automate its paper burial records, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) announced Friday. The companies, all members of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, will meet with cemetery officials next week to create an assessment of the type of technology needed to create a digitized system, a process that Warner said "should not be that big of a challenge." Warner reached out to the Tech Council after the Army's Inspector General released a report in June that found poor record keeping and mismanagement led to the mislabeling of dozens of graves. Bobbie Kilberg, the council president, said that 15 companies have stepped forward to help the cemetery figure out what sort of system it needs. "We really need to provide them with the road map to solve the problem, which the private sector can do." Investigators...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2010; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mark Warner  
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Yeardley Love case prompts U-Va. rule change

On the College Inc. blog, Dan de Vise reports that students returning to the University of Virginia will have a new question to answer at registration time: Have you ever been arrested?

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 6, 2010; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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McDonnell promises his ABC privatization plan will keep nearly $250 million flowing to general fund

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said this week that his yet-to-be-released proposal for privatizing Virginia's 332 liquor stores will include nearly $250 million in recurring money each year to the state. In an interview with The Washington Post, McDonnell said that any plan that he introduces in the coming weeks will include the same amount of money in profit and taxes that is currently being spent on education, public safety and other core services. Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control board deposited $248 million in liquor profits, as well as excise and sales taxes, into the general fund during fiscal 2009. The governor's staff said McDonnell was considering proceeding with a proposal that included at least $150 million a year in recurring money, but Democrats who hold a majority in the state Senate balked at supporting privatization unless it generated more than that. "We're first of all going to make sure we don't...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 6, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate  
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McDonnell talks health care, immigration, liquor on FOX, MSNBC, FOX Business

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) appeared on a trio of national shows today to talk about health care, immigration and privatizing the state's 332 liquor stores on FOX, FOX Business and MSNBC. Hear what he said about: Health care: This is about whether or not the Congress, using the commerce clause of the United States Constitution, can force a citizen of Virginia or of the United State to buy a product or a service, in this case, health insurance, and if you don't, have a monetary fine. Immigration: No one wants to support the kind of immigration where people come to the United States illegally, and then commit crimes against other citizens or against other immigrants. We want more lawful immigration to benefit the economic needs of America, but not to have more crime. ABC privatization: I just don't think the government ought to be in the liquor business. Thirty-two...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 5, 2010; 4:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McKelvey finally endorses Hurt in 5th district

Two months after he lost the 5th district GOP primary to state Sen. Robert Hurt, property developer Jim McKelvey has finally decided to endorse Hurt's campaign to unseat Rep. Tom Perriello (D).

By Ben Pershing  |  August 5, 2010; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Jim McKelvey , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello  
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UPDATED: ACLU warns police not to act on Cuccinelli's immigration opinion

The ACLU of Virginia warned the state's police chiefs and sheriffs not to follow Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's legal opinion, issued this week, that says law enforcement can ask the immigration status of anyone stopped by police officers for any reason. The group's legal director, Rebecca Glenberg, wrote to the chiefs and sheriffs yesterday to tell them that Cuccinelli's opinion cites no Virginia law, and that he simply asserts that such authority exists. Her letter also says that Cuccinelli ignores the recent judgment of a federal district court in Arizona that blocked that state's new law mandating that police inquire about immigration status. Read the full letter. Update, 5:15 p.m. Del. Bob Marshall, who requested the opinion from Cuccinelli, sent a subsequent letter to the police and sheriffs. "I cannot understand why the ACLU would encourage law enforcement officers to ignore the attorney general's opinion,'' he said. "The attorney general...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 5, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Immigration , Ken Cuccinelli  
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Virginia named top state for business

Move over, Texas. Virginia was named the most pro-business state in America, according to the Pollina Corporate 2010 rankings released today. Last month, CNBC announced that Virginia had slipped to second place in a similar ranking, falling behind Texas. But Texas didn't even make Pollina's top 10. Pollina's study involves 31 factors, including taxes, human resources, education, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, workers compensation laws, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts. It is the fourth time Virginia has held the top spot. Utah was ranked second, followed by Wyoming, South Carolina and North Carolina. "Pollina has pointed out what we've known here in Virginia for a long time -- that we are the best state in America for business,'' McDonnell said in a statement. "That's no small feat in such a tough economy. Pollina clearly recognized the pro-business atmosphere and first-class educational system we have built here...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 5, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Prince William chairman asks Congress to release immigration records

The chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors said Thursday he will ask Congress to subpoena Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain the records on how many illegal immigrants have been released back into the community. Chairman Corey A. Stewart said his action was prompted by the recent fatal car collision in Bristow. Police say Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano, who entered the United States illegally as a child, allegedly was driving drunk when his vehicle struck another car, killing one nun and seriously injuring two others. Martinelly-Montano had been released back into the community after two prior DUI convictions and has been awaiting a deportation hearing. "The Obama administration should be embarrassed," Stewart said. "They knew all along criminal illegal aliens were being released back into the neighborhoods. It is going to be tremendously embarrassing when people see not just the guys convicted of DUIs, but the men who...

By Jennifer Buske  |  August 5, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Corey Stewart , Immigration , Jennifer Buske  
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Webb stays mum ahead of Kagan vote

The Senate's vote on whether to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court is just a few hours away, so Virginians wondering how their senior senator feels about the nominee don't have too much longer to wait.

By Ben Pershing  |  August 5, 2010; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ben Pershing , James Webb  
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On Obama's birthday, national Republicans mock Deeds one more time

It's been eight long months since Democrat Creigh Deeds lost to Republican Bob McDonnell for the Virginia governor's mansion in a decidely lopsided election. And it seems Republicans still want to gloat. Just a little. The occasion? President Obama's birthday. The Republican National Committee is offering electronic greeting cards, including one featuring Deeds, former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and former Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley -- all candidates who sought help from Obama, some perhaps reluctantly, but lost anyway. "We got you that dinner jacket you had your eye on,'' the caption says. "We noticed you were missing some coattails." On a new Republican Web site, you can chose from more than a dozen cards, including ones featuring Rep. Charles Rangel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Read the Post's story about the cards. (See all the mocking birthday cards sent to Obama by Republicans.)...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2010; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell donates $10,000 in excess inaugural funds to food banks

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) delivered a $10,000 check to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks Wednesday as he continues to give his excess inaugural funds to charities across the state. State law requires statewide candidates to donate extra inaugural funds. McDonnell expects to contribute about $100,000. A report released in March by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics, shows that last year's statewide candidates actually raised far less for their inaugural festivities than their counterparts four years ago, who were able to hold onto the excess money by transferring it to political accounts. The law has changed since then. So far, McDonnell has donated $80,250. In addition the food bank, they include: Carpenter's Shelter ($6,250), Virginia Society for Human Life ($2,000), Virginia National Guard Foundation/Wall of Honor ($3,000), Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund ($500), Daily Living Center ($1,000), Virginia Autism Project ($5,000), Virginia NAACP...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell agrees with Cuccinelli on immigration checks, but can't require police action

Gov. Bob McDonnell said he agrees with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's legal opinion on immigration checks, issued Monday, but lacks the legal authority to force local police to check the immigration status of people they stop, despite a request to do so from Del. Bob Marshall. "I don't have any control over local law enforcement officers,'' said McDonnell (R). "Those are controlled by local board of supervisors and city councils. That's the reporting relationship." (Read today's story on McDonnell seeking federal immigration training for state police troopers.) Marshall (R-Prince William), who requested Cuccinelli's (R) legal opinion and subsequently wrote to McDonnell to codify the language in the opinion, agreed that McDonnell has no authority to issue orders to local departments. But, he said, McDonnell could use Cuccinelli's opinion to direct state police to make immigration inquiries more often....

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Immigration , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Anti-tax group lambastes McDonnell for acceptance of $800,000 grant

Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group that supports limited government and free trade, blasted Gov. Bob McDonnell for accepting nearly $800,000 for a project designed to make the state Capitol one of the "greenest" in the nation. The $798,988 grant came from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the City of Richmond and the Alliance for the Bay. "Taxpayers should be angered to see their hard-earned dollars being funneled toward such silly and aimless projects,'' said Ben Marchi, the group's state director. "It appears that Governor McDonnell would rather spend taxpayer dollars on improving downtown Richmond's aesthetics and investing in pavement techniques to filter rainwater than return the money to the people who earned it." Americans for Prosperity, usually one of McDonnell's biggest fans, sent out a statement to tens of thousands of supporters statewide, encouraging them to contact McDonnell and "and tell him to stop wasteful...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Advocacy group calls for recusal of health-care judge over investments

An advocacy group is calling on a federal judge to recuse himself from litigation involving Virginia's challenge of the federal health-care law because the judge has held investments in an online communications firm whose clients include major Republican groups that have called for the law's repeal. According to financial disclosure forms, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson owned stock in Campaign Solutions Inc. from 2003 to 2008, receiving dividends from the company. Campaign Solutions' clients have included the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), who filed Virginia's suit, also paid the company almost $9,000 for services this year and last....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 3, 2010; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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UPDATED: Cuccinelli becomes Fox News' go-to attorney general

Between an early win in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law and his legal opinion authorizing law enforcement officers to inquire about immigration status, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has become Fox News' favorite guest of the news cycle. Cuccinelli appeared on Tuesday morning's "Fox and Friends." He's scheduled for an appearance this afternoon with anchor Megyn Kelly. And Greta Van Susteren traveled to Richmond yesterday to tape an interview with the controversial attorney general on the steps of the Virginia Capitol, and then reserved more than 16 full minutes of her primetime show for its airing. You can watch the two-part interview here. The Fox-love won't improve Cuccinelli's woeful reputation on the left but will help continue to boost his national profile on the right. UPDATE 1:40 p.m. Brian Gottstein with Cuccinelli's office has been in touch to note the attorney general will also appear...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 3, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Update: Del. Marshall asks McDonnell for 'executive order' on immigration

Del. Bob Marshall, one of the legislature's most conservative members, has sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asking him to write an "executive order" that codifies language outlined in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion that authorizes police to check the immigration status of individuals when they make stops. (Read today's story about the opinion here.) "I request that you direct all appropriate law enforcement officers of the Commonwealth to implement the policies referenced above as authorized and permitted by the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions,'' Marshall wrote in his letter e-mailed to the governor's office late Monday night. Marshall said in an interview that he is modeling his request to McDonnell after a similar 2008 executive order by Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri (R) that calls for law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of all non-citizens taken into custody, incarcerated or under investigation for any...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 3, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Corey Stewart , Immigration , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Cuccinelli: Va. police can ask about immigration status

Updated, 5:29 p.m.: Law enforcement officials in Virginia can inquire into immigration status of those they stop or arrest--just as they can under a controversial new immigration law in Arizona--Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ruled in an official legal opinion. Written in response to a request for legal advice from Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), Cuccinelli ruled that police officers and other legal authorities can look into the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested. A 2008 Virginia law requires that law enforcement check the immigration status of anyone taken into custody on suspicion of having committed a separate crime. Cuccinelli's opinion could expand such inquiries to those who have been legally stopped by law enforcement, for instance those pulled over for a traffic violation or at a police checkpoint. (Coverage of the Arizona law)...

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  August 2, 2010; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (295)
Categories:  Immigration , Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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McAuliffe, Kilgore lead fundraising effort for new Capitol Square memorial

As Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who unsuccessfully ran for governor last year, ponders another run for statewide office, he continues to stay active in Virginia politics. Monday, McAuliffe and other notables, including former attorney general Jerry Kilgore (R), who ran for governor in 2005, and Gerald Massengill, former Virginia State Police superintendent, kicked off a $2 million campaign to build a memorial for public safety officers killed in the line of duty. The Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial will be built at Darden Memorial Garden at the entrance to the General Assembly Building on Capitol Square. "Today we begin with earnest a statewide, grassroots fundraising campaign that is the homestretch of a long journey to the much-deserved memorial to officers who have given their lives in service to their communities," said Hadden Culp, president of the Virginia Public Safety Foundation, which serves as the administrator of the...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 2, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Cuccinelli pleased with health ruling, while feds express confidence in case

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he's pleased with a judge's decision to allow his constitutional challenge to the federal health-care decision to proceed. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice said lawyers there are confident that the courts will ultimately decide that the law is constitutional.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  August 2, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Va. health-care suit can go forward, federal judge rules

RICHMOND -- A federal judge Monday morning refused to dismiss a Virginia lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law, handing the law's foes their first victory in a courtroom battle likely to last years.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  August 2, 2010; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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