Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About this Blog   |   On Twitter   |   Follow us on Facebook   |   RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Virginia Politics Blog: August 29, 2010 - September 4, 2010

Driver's license applicants must return to DMV following computer outage

The Department of Motor Vehicles is sending letters requesting 4,240 driver's license and ID card applicants get their photos taken again after an Aug.25 computer outage left their original photos unrecoverable. "Unfortunately, all photographs taken that day for credentials could not be recovered, therefore no credentials were mailed to these customers,'' the DMV said in a press release. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) warned Thursday that some data may have been lost due to the outage that left 26 state agencies, including the DMV, scrambling to serve Virginians. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency returned the data to DMV after the outage, but advised that the database did not include 12,000 to 16,000 photos, including those taken Aug. 25. DMV staff is evaluating the database to determine if other photos are not recoverable. The DMV is open this weekend, including Labor Day, and next weekend to process applicants....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 3, 2010; 7:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Pr. William chief questions federal immigration policy

Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane has sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security questioning a policy that allows illegal immigrants waiting for deportation proceedings to get a permit to work.

By Jennifer Buske  |  September 3, 2010; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Jennifer Buske  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Boucher maintains double-digit lead in new poll

Rep. Rick Boucher (D) leads state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R) by 10 points with two months remaining until Election Day, according to a new independent poll of the 9th district.

By Ben Pershing  |  September 3, 2010; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Morgan Griffith , Rick Boucher  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Legislator says ABC special session will be in November

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has told lawmakers they should prepare for a special legislative session on government reform in November, according to Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax). Howell said McDonnell told legislative leaders in a conference call about two weeks ago that he would be calling them to Richmond to consider plans for making government more efficient, including privatizing state run liquor stores, sometime between the Nov. 2 Election and Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 25. That timing would give legislators several weeks to consider proposals after their formal recommendation by McDonnell's reform commission, a vote that is scheduled to take place Oct. 4. But it also would also push the special session fairly close to the Jan. 12, start of the General Assembly's regular annual session. Democrats may argue the Commonwealth should save money and skip a special session, taking up McDonnell's proposals during the regular session instead. That would give...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 3, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Liquor privatization , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

McDonnell to speak at conference organized by former Christian Coalition leader

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will speak at a conference organized by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed next week in the District. Hundreds of activists are expected to attend the Faith and Freedom Coalition's first national conference and strategy briefing Sept. 9-11 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel. They will learn about voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts and how to use social media to build a volunteer network in advance of the November elections. Scheduled panel participants include "Mama Grizzly" candidates who are making 2010 the "Year of the Conservative Woman" and leading Tea Party organizers. "This is not just a conference or a retreat," Reed said in a news release. "This is the political equivalent of NFL minicamp. We will train and equip our activists on how to block and tackle in the churches and precincts as we prepare for the most important election of our lifetimes." Other confirmed speakers...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 3, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

McDonnell: Some data may be lost as a result of computer outage

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Thursday that it's possible some data may be lost due to a statewide computer outage this week that left 26 state agencies, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, scrambling to serve Virginians. McDonnell said he told Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush Wednesday that he wanted his company -- who holds a $2.4-billion contract with the state -- to restore as much data as possible. "I want the very best and brightest minds in Northrop Grumman to evaluate any decision,'' McDonnell told reporters this afternoon. "I have told the president of Northrop Grumman and the Virginia Information Technology Agency that I don't want any stone left unturned to find this data and rebuild so that we don't have to inconvenience any more people." The problem began Aug. 25 with the crash of a pair of three-year-old memory cards -- one was supposed to back up another....

By Anita Kumar  |  September 2, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Northrop Grumman offers 'regret' for lengthy Virginia computer outage

A representative of Virginia's computer contractor Northrop Grumman says the defense giant "deeply regrets" inconvenience caused by a widespread outage in the state's computer network over the past week. In a statement, Linda A. Mills, the company's corporate vice president and president of Northrop's Information Systems, said repairs to the data storage unit that failed Aug. 25 are complete and all state agencies are operational. Twenty-six of the state's 89 agencies experienced some level of outage. Most notably, operations at the state's 74 Department of Motor Vehicle locations were largely off-line for seven days. "Northrop Grumman deeply regrets the disruption and inconvenience this has caused state agencies and Virginia citizens," Mills said in a statement. "Over the last week, we have deployed significant resources and our staff has worked tirelessly in unison with [the Virginia Information Technologies Agency] and our partners to thoroughly verify and restore access to data and...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 2, 2010; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Northrop Grumman to pay for computer investigation

Virginia computer contractor Northrop Grumman has agreed to foot the bill for an independent investigation into the cause of storage unit failure that caused computing havoc at 26 of the state's 89 agencies over the last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Thursday afternoon. In a statement, McDonnell said that an outside vendor will be chosen jointly by his administration and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to conduct the review, but will be paid for by Northrop Grumman, who holds a $2.4 billion contract to manage the state's computer network....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 2, 2010; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Whipple: Not enough time to judge McDonnell's ABC proposal

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Fairfax) said this week it will be "virtually impossible" to vote for Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize the state's liquor system Wednesday if she does not receive details before the meeting. Whipple is one of nine members of the Government Simplification & Operations Committee of McDonnell's government reform commission, which is scheduled to meet and vote Wednesday after a presentation on the ABC proposal. But so far, Whipple said she has received very little information from the governor's staff despite repeated requests for more information. Her last meeting with Eric Finkbeiner, McDonnell's senior adviser for policy, took place last week. She received no specific figures and nothing in writing. Whipple said she is trying to keep an open mind, but she said she remains concerned about the increase in stores and if the state will be able to keep receiving nearly $250 million a year...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 2, 2010; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Different polls, different results in Perriello-Hurt race

A new poll in Virginia's 5th district suggests state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) has a commanding lead over Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in the latter's reelection race, but Democrats are certain to dispute the survey's results.

By Ben Pershing  |  September 2, 2010; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

McDonnell to speak to conservative activists at Value Voters Summit

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will join fellow Republicans Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in speaking to conservative activists at the Values Voter Summit in the District later this month. McDonnell and the former and perhaps future presidential hopefuls will gather at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for the fifth annual Values Voter Summit sponsored by the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Heritage Foundation, American Values and Liberty University. Hundreds of activists attend the event, which includes a presidential straw poll, an early predictor of which candidate may win the endorsement of Christian conservatives. "Governor McDonnell has worked on behalf of life as a state legislator and the attorney general of Virginia, and continues to do so as governor,'' Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins said. "We are honored that he will join us to speak at this year's summit." Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 2, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Corey Stewart , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Boucher's latest ad touts his 'values,' not his party

Is Rep. Rick Boucher a Democrat? Of course the answer is yes, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from his latest campaign ad.

By Ben Pershing  |  September 1, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Morgan Griffith , Rick Boucher  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Va. DMV will return to full operations Thursday

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) reports that the Virginia Deparment of Motor Vehicles will be fully operational on Thursday, more than a week after the agency was virtually shuttered by the failure of a computer storage drive at a warehouse south of Richmond. State officials estimate up to 45,000 people have been unable to renew their drivers' licenses while computers have been down. The agency will extend its hours in coming days and weekends to process the backlog. Officials reported Wednesday that the state's Department of Taxation was able to access taxpayer accounts and issue refunds and liens for the first time in seven days. In all, 26 agencies have been affected by the computer issues. Officials say network problems have been largely resolved though some agencies continue to grapple with minor problems. "There are some lingering issues," said Chief Information Officer Sam Nixon. According to the DMV, all 74 locations...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 1, 2010; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

A burned page from Virginia's liquor past

Ongoing discussions about whether Virginia should privatize its state-run liquor stores have caused researchers to dust off intriguing tidbits about Virginia's long and tortured past with demon rum. Take this little-known incident, for instance. In 1936, the Virginia General Assembly adopted a resolution asking the University of Virginia and the Medical College of Virginia to write a report about the affects of moderate and excessive alcohol use on the body. It was supposed to be used by the Board of Education in crafting an alcohol curriculum in schools. The report, finished at the end of the 1937, concluded that moderate alcohol use was essentially harmless. This was shortly after the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, and those findings were deeply displeasing to a number of teetotaling legislators. Displeasing enough that in 1938, the Virginia General Assembly voted to burn the report in the furnace of the state Capitol. The incident was...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 1, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  House of Delegates , Liquor privatization , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Clark campaign takes an odd turn in 5th district

The saga of 5th district independent candidate Jeffrey Clark took an odd turn in recent days, as the congressional hopeful had his personal finances exposed in the media and then sought to turn the tables on the source of the embarrassing information.

By Ben Pershing  |  September 1, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

McAuliffe lends the Farm Team a hand raising money

Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee chairman, is hosting a fundraiser for the Farm Team, a group created to help women seek public office, as he looks to stay active in state politics in Virginia in advance of the 2013 elections. McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, will host a Sept. 26 reception for the Farm Team -- one of the main fundraisers for the group this year -- at their McLean home. His wife has been involved with the organization before, but it's McAuliffe's first time hosting an event. McAuliffe's spokesman Levar Stoney said his boss heard about the event and wanted to help. See the invite. The Women of Courage and Truth reception will feature the unveiling of a portrait of 16-year-old Barbara Johns, who was at the forefront of the movement to end school segregation in the 1950s. McAuliffe, who lost his party's nomination for governor last year,...

By Anita Kumar  |  September 1, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Terry McAuliffe  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Connolly rides commuter train as part of transit tour

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) rode the Virginia Railway Express on Tuesday as part of his efforts to highlight the transportation choices and challenges Northern Virginia commuters face on a daily basis.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Election 2010 , Gerald E. Connolly , Jennifer Buske  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Northrop Grumman vows to fix Virginia computer problems

A day after Gov. Bob McDonnell called for an independent, third-party investigation into Virginia's massive computer failure, the state's vendor, Northop Grumman's vowed to learn from the problems of the last week and correct them. "We cannot afford to let any vulnerability in the infrastructure go unresolved,'' vice president Sam Abbate said in the company's first statement to the media since the computer failure. "We have an obligation to [Virginia Information Technologies Agency] and the agencies and citizens they serve, to learn everything we can from this occurrence. We will conduct a root cause analysis, carefully analyze and review the findings, develop lessons learned and make necessary changes." McDonnell announced in April that the state had reworked its massive $2.4 billion computer services contract with Northrop Grumman, extending the 10-year agreement by three years and agreeing to pay the company over $100 million more than originally envisioned. State officials say...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2010; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Cuccinelli town halls criticized as campaign stumping

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is coming under fire for mixing politics and official state business at town hall meetings in southwest Virginia later this week. Cuccinelli is holding the public meetings in Abingdon and Rocky Mount on Thursday. According to e-mails and tweets from the attorney general, meeting topics will include utility rates and a proposed federal bill that would regulate greenhouse gas emissions, known widely as "cap and trade." The bill happens to be a big campaign issue in the hot congressional races between U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher (D) and state Del. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) in the 9th district and between U.S. Rep Tom Perriello (D) and State Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania). And the two town halls happen to be taking place in those districts. But the events are being billed as official attorney general office events, not campaign stops, paid for with taxpayer dollars. And Cuccinelli...

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 31, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Morgan Griffith , Rick Boucher , Robert Hurt , Rosalind Helderman , Tom Perriello  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Senator: House snubbed Senate on redistricting hearings

When the House of Delegates announced last week that it would hold a series of public hearings on redistricting, it came as news to the Senate. Sen. Janet Howell, chairwoman of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, said she wanted the Republican-led House and Democratic-run Senate to hold fall public hearings together to save money and to be more convenient for residents. The answer from the House? No. She said she approached Del. Mark Cole, chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, about the idea and thought they reached an agreement, but heard later that the Speaker did not want joint hearings. Paul Nardo, chief of staff to House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) said the House and Senate have never held fall redistricting hearings together, but that the two chambers do plan to hold joint hearings in the spring. "We will work with the Senate,'' he said. Nardo said...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , House of Delegates , State Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Updated: McDonnell applies for abstinence-only education grant

Despite being lobbied heavily by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) applied for a federal grant to teach abstinence-only education instead of comprehensive sex education in Virginia schools. The $1.3-million grant application includes $900,000 from the federal government and $400,000 from the state. McDonnell will include the state's match in his proposed budget to the General Assembly in December. Localities remain free to choose which type of education they want for their schools. The grant the governor is applying for will only supplement districts if they choose. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and other groups had asked supporters to contact McDonnell to urge him to apply for money for the Personal Responsibility Education Program that would include information about disease and pregnancy prevention as well as abstinence. Update, noon: Planned Parenthood responds. "Given Virginia's economic situation, wasting $400,000 of taxpayer money for an...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate , Timothy M. Kaine  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

McDonnell calls for investigation into massive computer problems

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) called for an independent, third-party investigation into the massive computer failure in Virginia that has left several state agencies crippled for five days.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 30, 2010; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Altria the top-spending lobbyist for the year?

The Virginia Public Access Project has compiled a list of the top-spending lobbyists for the past year -- an interesting way to track Richmond's heavy hitters.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 30, 2010; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Groups urge McDonnell not to allow state troopers to act as immigration agents

A coalition of groups and individuals concerned about effective community policing are lobbying Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to drop his request to allow state troopers to act as immigration and customs agents. VA SCOPE sent a letter to McDonnell urging him not to move forward with his proposal to ask the federal government to train and deputize Virginia State Police troopers to make legal status checks and refer individuals for deportation, which it calls "unnecessary" and "ineffective." "Virginia has led the nation in taking steps (many of which we opposed as excessive, overreaching or ineffective) designed in theory to address public safety issues related to criminal conduct by people from other countries here either with or without authority. None of these programs has yet been proven to [enhance the ability of law enforcement to stop crime], yet some have been shown increasingly to affect adversely working people and their...

By Anita Kumar  |  August 30, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Judge quashes Cuccinelli subpoena of U-Va. records

An Albemarle County Circuit Court judge has set aside a subpoena issued by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to the University of Virginia seeking documents related to the work of climate scientist and former university professor Michael Mann.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 30, 2010; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (148)
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

Virginia DMV still off-line due to state computer meltdown

State computers continue to be plagued by a network problem that will be a particular hassle to drivers who need to renew their expiring licenses. Monday is the fourth business day in a row that the state's 74 DMV offices have been hamstrung by the widespread computer failure, a problem that's been traced to a hardware malfunction at the state's data center near Richmond, which caused 228 storage servers to go off-line. Officials with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, which runs the state computer network, report that work proceeded all weekend to fix the problem. They say all but three or four of the 26 state agencies that originally had been impacted by the problem have now been restored....

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 30, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz  

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company