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Virginia Politics Blog: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

Advocates for and against gun control to rally in Richmond on Monday

Supporters of gun rights and gun control will descend on the Virginia Capitol on Monday to lobby state lawmakers for their causes.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 14, 2011; 11:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Second candidate files for Fairfax supervisors race

Before announcing his candidacy for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Marc A. Greidinger thought he should invite over his neighbor and soon-to-be rival, Supervisor John C. Cook, to tell him the news over a drink.

By Fredrick Kunkle  | January 14, 2011; 7:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Fairfax County, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fredrick Kunkle  
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McDonnell names Halifax author as Va. poet laureate

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Friday that he has appointed author Kelly Cherry as Virginia's 11th Poet Laureate.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 14, 2011; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Democrats push for rules changes in the House

Democrats in the House of Delegates are pushing for a pair of rules changes. But with only 39 votes in the House, they face an uphill battle getting either of them passed. House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong is calling for an end to the practice of reporting bills to the full chamber without recommendations and to bills being killed in subcommittee. The proposed rules changes will be read for five days starting Friday before delegates vote on them next week. Armstrong (D-Henry) said Republicans, who control the chamber, have twice in recent years sent bills straight from the Rules Committee run by Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) to the House floor with no recommendation. "It's a vehicle by which it's used to politically embarrass the Democratic side of the aisle," he said. "I think it flies in the face of the tradition of the House. We have a very good...

By Anita Kumar  | January 14, 2011; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates  
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McDonnell to attend O'Malley's inauguration

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will head north Wednesday to attend the inauguration of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in Annapolis. McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, campaigned for O'Malley's rival, former governor Bob Ehrlich, during the campaign last year. But all that appears to be behind them now, even though O'Malley was just named chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. O'Malley, who helped raise money for McDonnell's Democratic opponent, state Sen. Creigh Deeds, attended McDonnell's inauguration last January. McDonnell was invited, but did not attend, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D)'s inauguration this month....

By Anita Kumar  | January 14, 2011; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Creigh Deeds, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Bills take aim at voter fraud

Del. Robert H. Brink (D-Arlington) introduced two bills intended to protect voter referendums from fraud.

By Christy Goodman  | January 14, 2011; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  !Elections, Christy Goodman  
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Arlington assessments rise 6.3 percent

The average single-family homeowner in Arlington County will see an increase in their property taxes. Arlington's 2011 property value assessments are up 6.3 percent, almost eliminating last year's decline of 7.2 percent, said county finance gurus.

By Christy Goodman  | January 14, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Arlington County, Budget, Christy Goodman  | Tags:  Arlington county property tax increase, Barbara Donnellan, Michelle Cowan, arlington budget, commercial property tax increase, property value assessment  
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Key Democrat says he's likely to vote for McDonnell road bonds

The Democratic chairman of the Senate's Finance Committee said is "probably going to support" a proposal by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to spend $2.9 billion in borrowed funds on state roads over the next three years.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 14, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate, Transportation  
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McDonnell proposes sending existing sales tax to Northern Virginia for roads

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Friday that he is asking state legislators to designate a portion of the sales tax to road projects in the two most congested areas of the state, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. The .25 percent of sales tax revenue generated in those regions would provide $140 million a year. Democrats, who narrowly control the state Senate, will likely oppose his proposal to use some of the sales tax for roads. They have long contended that Virginia's ailing road network requires raising additional revenue through a tax increase and not through using the state's general fund -- which provides money to core services like schools and public safety -- to finance highway improvements. McDonnell was joined at a morning news conference by at least one Democratic senator, though not a leader, Republican delegates including Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford), and representatives of 37 transportation groups. Last month,...

By Anita Kumar  | January 14, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate, Transportation  
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Activists, Marshall lobby McDonnell on abortion clinic regulations

More than 150 people, including Del. Bob Marshall (R), gathered outside the state Capitol on a crisp Thursday to pressure Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell to direct the state Board of Health to further regulate abortion clinics in Virginia. Activists waved signs reading "Governor McDonnell Regulate Clinics" and "Governor McDonnell Please Act." A man dressed like George Washington carried a poster that said, "Be a Patriot. Vote Pro-Life. Protect the Unborn." "Governor, we are asking you to exercise your authority, your conscience, your responsibility, and you have an attorney general who will defend you," Marshall said to the crowd. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) issued a legal opinion in August, saying the Board of Health has the authority to regulate clinics in response to legislators who asked whether the state can regulate facilities that provide first-trimester abortions as well as the medical personnel who perform them. Anti-abortion activists, including Marshall of...

By Anita Kumar  | January 13, 2011; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell  
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McDonnell: Hamilton indictment 'tragedy' and 'sad'

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday that the federal indictment of his longtime former colleague in the House of Delegates, Phillip A. Hamilton, is a "tragedy on many levels." "I served with Delegate Hamilton for a long time. I knew him and his wife a long time. They both served in various positions of state government very well,'' McDonnell told reporters. "It's a tragedy on many levels. He certainly has pleaded not guilty and deserves, as any defendant would, to have his day in court. It's obviously sad knowing the Hamilton family for a long time to see this come to where it is." Hamilton (R-Newport News), one of the most powerful delegates in the House, pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and extortion charges in a Richmond courtroom Thursday. "Obviously if any person violates the public trust, than they should be appropriately prosecuted and punished,'' McDonnell said. "None of...

By Anita Kumar  | January 13, 2011; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Delegate introduces legislation that could bring Va. immigration reform

A Prince William County delegate has embraced County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart's push for immigration reform in the commonwealth.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 13, 2011; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Corey Stewart, General Assembly, Immigration, Jennifer Buske, Prince William  
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McDonnell rolls out more support for transportation plan

Nine business and transportation groups have come out in support of Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan to spend $3.3 billion on state roads, much it in borrowed funds.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 13, 2011; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Democrats may introduce McDonnell's liquor bill in House

Democrats may introduce Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's bill to privatize the state liquor stores in the House of Delegates whether he wants them to or not. House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) said in an interview Thursday that he was concerned McDonnell (R) may be "playing politics" by planning to only introduce the controversial bill in the Democratic-led Senate -- where it will likely be killed -- so he can blame Democrats for the bill's death. "If that gets back to me that that's going to happen then we would seriously consider introducing that bill on the House side,'' Armstrong said. "The House could take whatever action it deems appropriate. We're not going to be in a position where we're going to be politically blamed.'' Armstrong said a final decision will be made after McDonnell determines whether a Republican will introduce the bill in the House. Delegates have until...

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 13, 2011; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Former delegate pleads not guilty just a few blocks from General Assembly

Former Virginia Del. Phillip A. Hamilton plead not guilty to federal bribery and extortion charges in a Richmond courtroom Thursday.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 13, 2011; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman  
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Marchi leaves Americans for Prosperity, expected to advise Allen

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is losing a frequent supporter -- and a sometimes critic. Ben Marchi, state director of the Americans for Prosperity, a group that supports low taxes and transparency in government, will announce Thursday that he is leaving the organization after three years. Marchi and his wife, Jennifer, a Virginia former state employee, are purchasing a health care business. He is also widely expected to become a top adviser to former Sen. George Allen in his yet to be announced bid for Senate in 2012. "This isn't just a job I'm leaving; it's a passion and a way of life." Marchi said. "Working with our board members, our national President Tim Phillips, and our wonderful members these last three years has been the most rewarding and memorable experience of my professional life." Americans for Prosperity worked to defeat a tax increase proposed by then Gov. Tim Kaine in...

By Anita Kumar  | January 13, 2011; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Pr. William chairman touts his immigration reform plan at tea party event

Prince William County Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart made a stop at an Alexandria Tea Party event Wednesday night to tout his plan for immigration reform in the commonwealth.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 13, 2011; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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McDonnell unveils government reform agenda for session

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Thursday a package of government reform bills he will introduce during the session of the General Assembly -- most of them came from a commission he formed to make government more user-friendly and efficient. Previously unannounced proposals include: the consolidation of various inspectors general into a state inspector general to investigate government fraud, waste and abuse; the consolidation of official reports; transparency in accessing state spending information; and the elimination and consolidation of boards and commissions. Some suggestions will be implemented administratively. McDonnell will issue an executive directive next week advising secretaries, agencies and state employees to comply with many of the recommendations found in the government reform commission report, submitted in December. "We must create a government that is limited and effective, efficient and transparent,'' McDonnell said in a statement. "We are committed to doing that during this administration." See below for McDonnell's reform...

By Anita Kumar  | January 13, 2011; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Democrats respond to McDonnell's State of the Commonwealth Address

House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong provided the official response to Gov. Bob McDonnell's speech for Virginia Democrats. "While he talks a pretty good game about small government and cutting spending, his legislative agenda suggests that he has not gotten the point made in the last election when it comes to deficit spending," Armstrong said in taped remarks. Armstrong touted Democratic priorities of job creation and education improvements and transportation, which happen to be McDonnell's priorities too. "We have a lot of differences but we also agree on a lot as well,'' he said. "Democrats have some serious concerns about the agenda that the governor put forward tonight. And while we'll continue to make those concerns known...that doesn't mean we aren't open to working with Bob McDonnell and Republicans to find common ground and get things done." Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania), a leading budget writer, called McDonnell's speech "conciliatory."...

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 12, 2011; 8:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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McDonnell's State of the Commonwealth Address

Below is Vriginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's State of the Commonwealth Address as prepared for delivery to a joint session of the General Assembly: Mr. Speaker. Mr. President. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the State Corporation Commission Ladies and Gentlemen of the General Assembly My fellow Virginians It is my duty and honor to join you again tonight in Thomas Jefferson's Capitol for the annual State of the Commonwealth Address. And I want to welcome Senator Bill Stanley and Delegate Greg Habeeb to the greatest legislative body in the world, just 24 hours after the polls closed. Congratulations. At the start of this speech, I ask that we all join together in a moment of silence for the victims of the senseless violence that unfolded in Arizona this past weekend....

By Anita Kumar  | January 12, 2011; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Two longtime senators say they are 'probably not' running again

Two longtime senators say that they they are "probably not" running again for the Virginia senate.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 12, 2011; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Prince William, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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McDonnell's security tightened following Arizona shooting

Officials have tightened security for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell following the mass shootings in Tucson. Reporters covering a McDonnell news conference this week were told they would no longer be able to approach the governor after he had started speaking to place recorders or microphones on his lectern. McDonnell, however, told reporters that the shooting that killed six people and severely injured a congresswoman had not changed his security. "I certainly don't intend to change any of our security protocols in Virginia nor to shrink at all from any of the things I believe in and intend to speak on." When told of the changes, McDonnell said "I had not heard that...Honestly, I don't know," he said before promising his spokesman would clarify the issue after the media event. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin repeatedly declined to discuss the governor's security, but after being pressed by a dozen reporters, he finally...

By Anita Kumar  | January 12, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Virginia General Assembly kicks off with prayer breakfast

Festivities surrounding the first day of the Virginia General Assembly's annual session kicked off Wednesday morning with a prayer breakfast attended by more than 1,000 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 12, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Sen. Mamie Locke elected chair of Virginia Legislative Black Caucus

Sen. Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) was elected chairwoman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus at its first meeting of the year. Locke replaces Del. Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk), who served for two years and did not run again. The caucus has 18 members in the House of Delegates and state Senate. "During Delegate Alexander's tenure, we came together as a caucus and I remain proud of our accomplishments as we confronted declining budget revenues, a transformed political environment, and a recession, while fighting for the needs and hopes of our constituents,'' Locke said in a statement. "I'm honored to succeed him and I am proud to follow in the steps of others who have preceded me." Locke, dean of Hampton University's School of Liberal Arts, has represented parts of Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth and Suffolk since 2004. She was a member of the Hampton City Council and its mayor 2000-2004....

By Anita Kumar  | January 12, 2011; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate  
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Voters elect Republicans to fill two vacancies in General Assembly

The General Assembly will welcome two new Republican legislators Wednesday on the first day of its annual session. Greg Habeeb, a Salem lawyer and former Salem Republican chairman, defeated Democrat Ginger Mumpower in a special election held Tuesday to replace U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R) in the largely Republican-leaning district that includes Salem and part of Roanoke County. "This election was about jobs, leadership and families,'' Habeeb said. "I think the people of the 8th District understood I had the unique skill set to bring new jobs to our community, work in a bipartisan fashion with state leaders and protect our conservative family values." Bill Stanley, a Franklin County lawyer and the GOP committee chairman in the 5th Congressional District, defeated Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Davis (D) in a second special election to replace U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt (R) in the district that comprises Franklin and Pittsylvania counties,...

By Anita Kumar  | January 11, 2011; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate  
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Alexandria okays buses to Mark Center

The Alexandria City Council approved $600,000 to rehabilitate four city DASH buses that will be used for express bus service between the King Street Metro station and Mark Center. The express service is the first transit improvement put in place to handle the 6,400 new federal employees who are coming to the new federal building as part of the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process beginning this summer. The council approved the measure contingent on a reimbursement agreement with the Department of Defense that would cover the rehabilitation costs and the more than $500,000 yearly operating costs. Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said he expects an agreement by Jan. 19. The morning and evening rush hour express bus service will be free to defense department employees, but will require a fare from other riders. The rehabilitation, which takes about five months, extends the life of a bus by some five years,...

By Christy Goodman  | January 11, 2011; 8:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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McDonnell outlines new scaled-back, retail-only ABC plan

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will unveil a proposal Wednesday to close 332 state-owned liquor stores and replace them with 1,000 private retail outlets -- a scaled-back version of a plan he's pushed for months to end Virginia's monopoly on the sale of distilled spirits. Under the proposal, the state is expected to reap at least $200 million upfront for the sale of new liquor licenses and $13.1 million more than it now collects each year in profits and taxes at Alcoholic Beverage Control stores, according to the governor's office. McDonnell (R), failed to get support for his orginal proposal to privatize all aspects of the 77-year-old liquor system, including the wholesale, distribution and retail sales. He hopes his new retail-only proposal will be more favorable to a divided General Assembly, which will return to Richmond Wednesday. "He's reconfigured the thing. It's pretty simplistic," Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Chesterfield), who will...

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 11, 2011; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Pr. William perseveres despite economic slump

Despite facing the lingering effects of one of the longest and deepest economic recessions in the nation's history and a housing market that went from boom to bust, Prince William County prospered last year, Chairman Corey A. Stewart said Tuesday. During his annual state of the county address, Stewart (R-At Large) looked back at the county's triumphs and the strides officials made to help Prince William weather the economic downturn. "My fellow citizens, history continues to test our nation....A nation which borrows so heavily against its future cannot long endure," he said. "But we in Prince William are a model. We have shown that a government can reduce and through reform can persevere." The board turned its focus to economic development, Stewart said, and worked to build the legal framework and infrastructure needed for businesses to thrive. He added that the Economic Development Task Force was also created to advise...

By Jennifer Buske  | January 11, 2011; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Some sit out anti-abortion rally to avoid confronting McDonnell

A split has emerged in the anti-abortion community over whether to pressure Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to direct the state Board of Health to further regulate abortion clinics in Virginia. Both Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and the conservative Family Foundation declined to participate in an anti-abortion rally scheduled for Thursday outside the Capitol to avoid "confronting" McDonnell after they found out that organizers designed the event to pressure the governor. Both Cuccinelli (R) and Family Foundation Chaplain Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. had been scheduled to attend the rally, which will take place on the second day of the General Assembly's annual session. "While Attorney General Cuccinelli is a long-time pro-life leader and is very supportive of the people redressing their grievances with their elected officials at a rally like this, he does not support calling on his client -- the governor -- to circumvent the normal public regulatory process,...

By Anita Kumar  | January 11, 2011; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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UPDATED: Citing Arizona, Va. delegate proposes banning firearms in State Capitol

A Virginia delegate is introducing a bill to ban firearms from the state Capitol and General Assembly Building in response to the shooting rampage in Arizona that has left a U.S. Congresswoman in critical condition.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 11, 2011; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Bob McDonnell and Garth Brooks in PSA promoting Virginia

Here's an unlikely pair: Gov. Bob McDonnell and country music legend Garth Brooks have teamed up on a public service announcement to promote...what else?...Virginia. Brooks spent some time in Virginia last year to film "Unanswered Prayers," which aired on Lifetime and resulted in $2.8 million in spending in the state after McDonnell's administration used a $1.5 film grant to land the filming in the Old Dominion. In the PSA, McDonnell (R) compliments the tourism and film industries for bringing jobs to the state, while Brooks praises Virginia's beautiful landscapes and people. "Even though I'm an Okie, I know why now, they still say, Virginia is for Lovers," Brooks says. The PSA, filmed on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol, will run 935 times in January and February on PBS in four Virginia markets generating a potential 65 million impressions, according to the Virginia film office Watch the PSA here....

By Anita Kumar  | January 11, 2011; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Delegate will ask whether state grants to private groups is constitutional

A state delegate plans to ask Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) to weigh in on the constitutionality of giving state funds to private charities, has been proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) in a series of amendments to the two-year budget the General Assembly will consider when it convenes on Wednesday.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 10, 2011; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Alexandria council member considers Va. Senate run

Rob Krupicka, an Alexandria City Council member, will run for the Virginia Senate if Sen. Patricia S. Ticer (D-Alexandria) decides to retire. "If Senator Ticer decides to retire, I plan to run for the 30th State Senate District and I'd like to ask for your help and support," Krupicka said in a blog post. He invited folks interested in being on a new "Team Krupicka" to his home later this month for an organizational meeting. "I believe greatly in this community and in the issues and work that Senator Ticer is committed to. I've never felt more strongly about the potential for Virginia to lead the nation in education, job creation, the environment and clean energy," Krupicka wrote. Ticer originally was elected to the 30th District in 1995. The district covers portions of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax counties....

By Christy Goodman  | January 10, 2011; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  !Elections, !General Assembly, Alexandria, Christy Goodman, State Senate  
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Plan for Metro board changes released

The District, Maryland and Virginia today released a joint plan and schedule for implementing changes to Metro's governance structure, following November recommendations by a coalition of regional groups including Metro's Riders Advisory Council.

By Washington Post Editors  | January 10, 2011; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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McDonnell creates bipartisan redistricting commission

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Monday that he has created a bipartisan advisory commission on redistricting months before Virginia attempts to redraw its state legislative and congressional districts. The commission will be comprised of 11 members with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, two former judges, one former federal judge nominated by a Republican president and one former state judge initially elected by a Democratic-led legislature and an independent chairman. McDonnell also has included the state's leading proponents of redistricting as he sought to make good on his campaign promise to support bipartisan redistricting during the gubernatorial campaign, breaking with Republicans in the House. He failed to support any redistricting bills in the General Assembly last year. For at least the eighth year in a row, a GOP-controlled House of Delegates subcommittee killed a bill that would have changed the way the state establishes legislative and congressional boundaries. The...

By Anita Kumar  | January 10, 2011; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Md.'s O'Malley to keynote Va. political event

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will cross the Potomac next month to serve as the keynote speaker at an annual party dinner for Virginia Democrats.

By Washington Post Editors  | January 10, 2011; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Virginia flags lowered for Arizona shooting victims

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has ordered U.S. and Virginia flags be flown at half-staff at all local, state and federal buildings in the state in honor of the victim's in Saturday's deadly shooting in Arizona. Flags will remain lowered until sunset Friday pursuant to President Obama's proclamation. "The Governor is deeply saddened by the news coming from Arizona,'' McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. "His thoughts and prayers are with the Congresswoman, her staff, the other victims, and all their friends and families." Meanwhile, statements from Virginia officials keep pouring. See below for a sampling:...

By Anita Kumar  | January 10, 2011; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Barack Obama, Brian J. Moran, Eric Cantor, Frank R. Wolf, Mark Warner, Morgan Griffith, Rob Wittman, Robert F. McDonnell, Robert Hurt  
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