As we all settle down to our Thanksgiving dinners, we got Todd Schneider, the executive chef at Virginia's governor's mansion, to give us the low-down on the first family's meal today. Schneider said he was cooking for 25 -- which included Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), wife Maureen, their five children and other family members, as well as members of McDonnell's security detail who will be working on the holiday. "They like it very traditional" Schneider said. To start, there will be shrimp, an antipasto platter and crab dip. The centerpiece of the meal will be a 35-pound turkey Schneider has nicknamed "Oscar." He's actually made three birds to ensure plenty of food for leftovers. The stuffing is a traditional recipe including crumbled baguettes and herbs from the Executive Mansion's garden. The sides will also be -- you guessed it -- traditional: Mashed potatoes, candied yams and green bean casserole. Dessert...
Spotted at the Palm Restaurant in downtown Washington, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), celebrating a lengthy pre-Thanksgiving meal with about 200 of his closest friends and family. Included in the crowd were political operatives Joe Trippi, Mike McCurry and Vernon Jordan. Also on hand, Warner's 89-year old father Bob, visiting from Connecticut. It was the 24th annual Palm lunch for Warner, who began the event with some fellow high-tech executives to benefit charity. After hours of eating and drinking, they write hefty checks to a designated group. This year's lunch benefited several anti-hunger organizations, including the group Share Our Strength. "He's been a leading philanthropist in the region for 20 years, and this is one of the ways the NoVa IT and venture capital communities have regularly and generously supported this region's nonprofit community," said spokesman Kevin Hall. Meanwhile, 100 miles south in Richmond, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) got...
A warning to the school children of Virginia: Yes, your teacher can confiscate your cellphone or laptop computer. That's according to a legal opinion issued Wednesday by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R), who found that teachers can not only take the devices, but they can review text messages or e-mails if they have "reasonable suspicion" that students have been violating the law or school rules. He issued the opinion in response to a request from Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Charlottesville), who inquired whether teachers can take cellphones in instances where other students have complained they were victims of cyberbullying. Cuccinelli also opined that if a teacher finds sexually explicit material on a student's cellphone that involves minors (say, the student was "sexting" with the phone), the teacher should turn those photos over to law enforcement. Sharing the photos with other teachers or with the school principal -- even if...
Washington Post environmental reporter Darryl Fears wrote this morning about a new Obama administration initiative to speed the process of approving new off-shore wind energy farms. The new program, dubbed Smart from the Start, has gotten high marks from two Virginia voices that don't always agree on environmental issues: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Sierra Club Virginia director Glen Besa. In a statement Tuesday, McDonnell applauded the announcement. "For years, viable offshore wind projects have taken too long to gain approval. These delays impair our nation's efforts to develop all of our energy resources as necessary to meet the growing demand for electricity in our state and in our nation, as well as the creation of good paying jobs our citizens need," he said. He noted the Department of Interior will be identifying the most promising off-shore wind sites in the country in the next 60 days. He said Virginia...
The Alexandria City Council agreed tonight to leave the city's property tax rate unchanged in the upcoming fiscal year, while it expects the budget to grow 3.6 percent.
Republicans selected Bill Stanley, a Franklin County lawyer and the GOP committee chairman in the 5th Congressional District, to be their nominee to replace state Sen. Robert Hurt, who was elected to Congress this month. Stanley defeated five other Republicans -- Pittsylvania County Republican Committee Chairwoman Brenda Bowman; Pittsylvania County real estate appraiser Jerry Grubb; Franklin County nonprofit president Melvin Adams Sr., Danville City Council member Fred Shanks and Danville businessman Scott Brooks -- in a firehouse primary tonight. "Bill Stanley is a great choice to be our nominee in this important special election, and he'll make a fantastic senator,'' said Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City). "Today, Republican voters in Campbell, Danville, Franklin and Pittsylvania had a large and talented field from which to choose their next senator, and they have selected a great nominee who will represent the voters of the 19th District with distinction...
Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and most of the state's congressional delegation held a long-awaited meeting with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday, seeking to deflect what they see as the Pentagon's proposed double-barreled assault on Virginia's economy. State officials have been in crisis mode since August, when Gates announced his intention to close the Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, potentially costing the Hampton Roads region thousands of jobs. At the same time, Gates vowed to significantly cut the Pentagon's use of private contractors, which could have a major impact on Northern Virginia. McDonnell (R) and the state's lawmakers have complained repeatedly that those proposals lacked transparency and empirical data to support them and for months had been seeking to meet with Gates to make their case. Their opportunity came Tuesday morning at the Pentagon, and Virginia officials emerged from the session mildly encouraged that the blow to the state could...
A federal judge sentenced former Virginia Secretary of Finance John W. Forbes II to 10 years in prison Tuesday for defrauding the Virginia tobacco commission of $4 million.
Micron Technology Inc. is investing $56 million to expand its Manassas facility and bring 123 new jobs to the area, Virginia officials said Tuesday.
As we told you Monday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray (D) spoke this morning about Metro governance after a recent report that recommends that the three jurisdictions be given greater oversight of the transit agency.
Jennifer Buske reports on the Crime Scene blog that a portion of the Prince William County Courthouse has been blocked off after an employee opened a piece of mail carrying a suspicious white powder, Manassas Fire officials said.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's initial proposal to privatize the state's 76-year-old liquor monopoly may have overstated how much money Virginia could make from selling the system, according to a new report by the General Assembly's investigative arm released Tuesday afternoon.
Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman
| November 23, 2010; 1:29 PM ET |
Categories: Anita Kumar, House of Delegates, Liquor privatization, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate
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Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said he is reviewing with top members of his administration what changes -- including legislative ones -- might be necessary in the wake of a $4 million theft at the tobacco commission, which has doled out millions of dollars in the last decade for the most economically depressed areas of the state.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray (D) plan to speak this week to devise a "joint approach" to Metro governance following a recent report that recommends the three jurisdictions be given greater oversight of the transit agency and seats on its board of directors.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Monday that though Virginia's economy appears to recovering state lawmakers should be cautious about committing the state to any spending next year while the economy is still unsettled.
State Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania) and House Majority Leader Del. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) have both submitted their formal letters of resignation from the General Assembly, a spokeswoman for the governor said. Hurt and Griffith were both elected to Congress in this month's election. Their letters to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) arrived Monday, timed to coincide with the formal certification of their victories by the State Board of Elections, said McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson. Johnson said the letters both indicate that the men's resignations will become effective on Jan. 5, the day they are sworn in to Congress. McDonnell also Monday formally issued the paperwork to call special elections to fill their seats on Jan. 11. The deadline for candidates is noon on Nov. 24....
State officials have offered superstar film director Steven Spielberg tax credits to film his new movie on Abraham Lincoln in Virginia, several sources in Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration tell us. The General Assembly passed a bill this year allowing a tax credit of up to 20 percent for movies filmed in the state with expenses of at least $250,000 for taxable years beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng confirms that the bill could help woo Spielberg to Virginia. "Support from the General Assembly has been great,'' he said. "And necessary for us to stay competitive." Spielberg was scouting locations in Richmond last week when he stopped to have lunch with Rita McClenny, director of the Virginia Film Office, and Andy Edmunds, the office's location manager, at Millie's Diner. The next day, Spielberg announced his long-anticipated Abraham Lincoln biopic would focus on the road to abolition...
It may feel like the 2010 election has only just passed, but already the 2011 election season for the Virginia General Assembly is practically upon us.
Rosalind S. Helderman
| November 22, 2010; 10:30 AM ET |
Categories: House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate, Tommy Norment's voice mail
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Three weeks after his loss to auto dealer Scott Rigell (R), Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) says he's already mulling whether to mount a bid to reclaim the seat in 2012.